Chelsea - Couldn't have scored in a brothel.
AFC Bournemouth - Looked like Barcelona.
Wednesday 31st January 2018 19:45
Well as the crowd poured out, I laughed my head off the last twenty minutes of that game. To celebrate the biggest pile of w*nk I've seen from a Chelsea side since the Emirates in September 2016, I'm going to write our match up in the style of a first class, grade A nappy sh*tter. But first...
In the News: The BBC are in the doghouse this week - not only because they've made a habit out of exploiting me, stealing my work and passing it off as their own, with less shame than Wilshere collecting a pay check every week, f*ck, less shame than GALLAS; but because of the sheer c*ntishness with which they shoved a microphone in Conte's face and said: "You won't catch City and you'll probably lose to Barcelona." We'll all just go home then shall we, you Goon loving swine? And you can fill your air time with another soap opera set in the wrong end of London that consists of chavs going in and out of rooms shouting at each other. Still, it's great that they get paid for that. And that Gary f*cking Lineker gets a seven figure salary out of the tax payer every year, even if I got precisely nothing.
I feel better now.
The BBC programme that we don't name, on account of them being the second most skulduggerous of all their incarnations, did the draw for the FA Cup Fifth Round and threw up another round of uninspiring fixtures. We've got a home tie against Hull, for which mercifully I will be somewhere along the Nile looking at something more exciting. City go to Wigan, Sp*rs fans face the prospect of getting kicked into next season at Millwall, which should draw some viewers hoping to see them get stamped on, and the Red Scouse will be watching all of the above on television. Happy days.
Thank F*ck It's Deadline Day: The Red Swarm can stop making sh*t up about transfers and go back to making sh*t up about everything else instead as of tomorrow.
As far as we are concerned:
Dzeko wouldn't back down on personal terms that were a little silly so he stays in Rome. We bent some of the way, but he didn't. There were a flurry of sh*t rumours about Llorente after this. But nope. That wasn't going to happen. He made his bed in the summer and now he can lie in it, and watch his hopes of winning things disappear down the toilet like everyone else who signs for Sp*rs.
Finally the transfer circle jerk (ok, a triangle jerk) is complete on deadline day. Aubameyang has made the inexplicable choice to go and play for Whinger. Still, his lack of taste in everything from hairdos to sports cars is enough of an impediment in life, so let's not judge him on a lack of ambition too harshly. Michy moves round to Dortmund to try and clock up enough minutes to make it to some international tournament I don't give a sh*t about this summer, because I'll be hiking in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and the Grand Canyon. If I wasn't I'd be gauging my eyes out with a spoon before I put that on. It means we're still on two strikers, a benevolent move on our part that is in his better interests as opposed to ours. And to complete the triangle jerk, we get Olivier Giroud. This is my stance: At least he jumps for headers. Please God let it be in his contract that he has to shave, because then I wouldn't have to feel dirty perving at him like I did when he played for L'Arse before he grew that monstrosity on his face. He will do for me. Good option for route one. If nothing else is working, punt it up to the beard. My God we could have done with that tonight instead of flogging a horse so dead it had already been through a mincer and turned into dog food, which had then been eaten by a pitbull and shat out. Twice.
Our cunning plan of buying players that are broken and nobody else wants at the time also continues. Palmieri done, another left sided player for £17.5m. Pocket change if he turns out to be good. But Barkley is no longer broken, so we can forget about all that bizarre nonsense when he ran away halfway through the medical he was never going to pass in the summer.
In September there was much discussion about how we didn't lack shiny awesome purchases, we needed players to build a squad, because we lacked numbers. I say this because we've just bought some squad players to boost our numbers and at the same time we’ve sent three senior players out on loan - as in Kenedy, Musonda and Batshuayi. Because that’s how we roll. We weren't going to buy any of the shiny ones when there is a manager as volatile as a grenade with the pin pulled out at the helm threatening to leave every five minutes. Summer is when that kind of big business will happen. In theory.
Pretty much everything was done early in the day which meant that the media morons just had to start making stuff up to fill the gap till 11pm. Half an hour before kick off we and the Red Scouse were supposedly arguing over Isco. Real Madrid look almost as hilarious as us with the players they've got, why would they give any of them away and be worse off?
So with a lack of last minute action let’s ponder Pip Squeakiola. The douchiest douche this side of Douchville:
Monday, moans about not having as much money as everyone else despite spending more than any other team by a massive margin. To the tune of nearly half a billion pounds.
Wednesday morning, reported they're going to break their transfer record and rinse another £60m on Laporte, who doesn't even play for his country.
At £282 million City's defence budget has now exceeded that of 52 countries.
If anyone could have found Mahrez and got him to sign for them they would have been on their way to £600m since the arrival of Baldy McDoucheface.
This coming from the man who reportedly said (the internet says it, and the internet never lies) in 2009:
"Modern football sometimes makes me sad. Nowadays there can be more focus on big name signings rather than promoting youth, and that makes me sad. I have grown up with the Barcelona method (let's not get into the £150m for Coutinho) and I hope to stay true to for the whole of my career. Why buy a striker for £50m when there is one waiting in the youth team?"
Smug, self-satisfied, spoiled, sanctimonious, superior f*cking hypocrite DOUCHE. You can argue stats at me till you run out of oxygen and drop dead at my feet like Charlie Adam trying to keep up with a game of football. Until this man wins something without infinite money at his disposal he ain't nothing but one of the pack who is acting like a douchey slaphead fraud. If he'd have won the league with Mangala in the centre of his back line instead of selling him then I might have developed one small iota of respect for him. But do you know why I have to laugh? Because he and his prima donnas are still the least douchelike of all evils if we can't win it.
Meanwhile Özil is like a bog-eyed Malouda, turning up a few weeks before his contract runs out and acting like he's been earning a new one all along. There was something endearing about Malouda dancing to his song with sheer joy though. Not so with this bellend. Still, he had to sign with Wenger, nobody was going to put him on the same wages he's been getting for his part time contract at Arsenal.
Best parting shot of the window? I like Giroud more already after he took a dig about how many trophies we've won of late compared to Arsenal, but I've got to give it to Mykhitaryan on leaving Chequebook Pulis:
"I'm looking forward to playing offensive football."
It's a good job, because the Goons can literally only defend when they are playing us. In the words of Knobhead, my one Arsenal friend: Well chuffed with Aubameyang… he might just score enough to cover those the defence give away! That’s Wenger's usual game plan! Said I. To which Knobhead replied: Don’t be fooled, he has NO PLAN!
The Others: So yes, Arsenal. The gift that keeps on giving. "There is no rational explanation" for how bad they were according to Whinger, but give him a break, because rationality has never been one of his strengths. And if we were terrible tonight we didn't quite implode to the level of United. A large part of tonight's entertainment for me, apart from Mowgli’s cleptomania, was text updates on this from my brother. I wish I'd been watching this instead. Sp*rs were ahead after ten seconds, which blew Chequebook Pulis's game plan to sh*t because they couldn't sit back and do nothing. Then Phil "Sloth from the Goonies" Jones scored such a world class OG that Paddy Power paid out on him as second goal scorer. Pogba got hooked, so did "Messi" Lingard. Then apparently CP threw Jazz Hands Fellaini on, only to drag him off again after four minutes. Still, at least that would have made Matic feel better about his twenty minute humiliation in similar circumstances. And somewhere in front of a TV Joe Cole fist-pumped too.
Right. Here I go. I'm strapped into my Pampers and ready to go with my alter ego - Peaky the Nappy Sh*tter...
Us: I took one look at the team sheet and knew tonight was going to be a*se. And I knew it was going to be Gary Cahill's fault. I can't believe Giroud isn't playing. What a lazy b*stard. And his beard is better than mine. Prick. Thibaut was in goal. I can believe he hasn’t signed his new contract. The board are sh*t. Bakayoko, brilliant. Now we’ll definitely lose. Alonso too - all he does is score free kicks, but what do you expect when he used to play for Sunderland? And Bolton. And Barkley? I can’t believe we’ve even bothered. Firstly, he’s a Scouser, and secondly, why would we want Everton’s rejects? No wonder we’re sh*t. If we don’t win a f*cking trophy this season I’m going to pimp slap Bruce Buck with my flat cap.
Them: How have they got half our players? Did I mention the board is sh*t? I can’t believe we let Nathan Ake leave. He’s going to be a world-beater and we just let him go like he’s a human being with his own free will. We’re pussies. We need to man up in the transfer market.
Straight away it was all Bournemouth. We should be p*ssing all over this lot. The fact that we weren’t three up in the first ten minutes, someone needs sacking. At least Hazard looked like he was up for it. Shame he’s going to leave us in the Summer for Madrid, along with Thibaut, because we can’t get anything done. Zappacosta came streaking in for a shot after Eden and Pesto (autospell, nearly as useless as Michy) did some tippy tappy sh*t in the box. Missed it though. There’s a surprise. As usual it was all down to Hazard, because everyone else is a jobber. I should have bought my boots with me tonight, I could have helped him out more than any of the dross out there. On 13 minutes he made one of his runs into the box and cut it back. Brilliant. Only get this, Pesto finally does some running and he runs too fast. Ball goes behind him. There’s some irony for you. I can’t remember the last time he did anything useful. We look like the f*cking away side. This was toss. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Christensen went down injured. Why couldn’t it be Cahill? The only decent player we’ve got and he’s crocked. Rudiger came on to replace him. Joy, another sh*t signing from the board. I don’t understand why Roman doesn’t get rid of them all. We looked a bit better round about half an hour. As in we looked a bit more like Leicester instead of f*cking Stoke. Best chance of the game so far and it falls to Cahill. F*ck my life. Of course he misses it, over the bar, what’s he ever done for us? Alonso finally pulled his finger out just after that and put it high into the box for Hazard, who missed the header. It’s like his head is already in Madrid. If that’s the case he should just f*ck off there. Even Torres would have scored that. Barkley had a shot moments later but he never really got to line it up and it deflected off a defender and into Begovic's arms. That was £15m well spent. On 38 minutes Alonso had a decent opening for a header, but he’s been sh*t ever since he grew his highlights out and so it went wide. Barkley is going to be blinding, on 40 minutes he slipped the ball through into one of the small people, probably Pesto, because Hazard has been sh*t for weeks. Lino called it offside - it was never offside. Blind. On 44 minutes SB (special alias) turned to me and said: “There you go, Rudiger completed a six yard pass. Write that in your thing. Init.”
I don’t know what happened at half time. Either everybody had a spliff in the dressing room or they’ve all decided that they can’t be a*sed with Conte and his moaning anymore, or the board, or the sh*t they see coming in the door and they just rolled over. We almost scored on 49, then some bloke called Callum Wilson who I’ve never heard of went up the other end and scored. THIS IS BOURNEMOUTH. WHAT ARE WE DOING? Hazard almost equalised straight away, thank God for him, maybe we’d get back in this. Hallelujah, Barkley’s going off for Fabregas. But by 57 minutes we’d turned into those bellends that cheer every time they win a f*cking corner. We are actually Arsenal. I might as well have brought a picnic basket full of crayfish and rocket paninis and my nan’s knitting to sit through this sh*t.
0-2 Who is Junior Stanislas? Stupid name. I didn’t see it, because I was too busy complaining about the ref, but it was blatantly Cahill’s fault. Then they got another one. It was basically going nowhere and then bounced in off Ake’s nut sack. 0-3 down at home to f*cking BOURNEMOUTH. I said we shouldn’t have sold him. Alonso hit one just wide on 69. He can’t hit a cow’s a*se with a banjo. We deserve some kind of trophy for making this lot look like Barcelona, it’ll be the only trophy we win this year. Finally, it looked like there was some urgency about the team, but typically they’d left it to the last minute. They’re just taking the p*ss out of us now, singing “you dirty northern b*stards” at us because Fabregas has tried to break someone’s legs. I wish he’d signed for Arsenal again. He’s been sh*t for us. Eight of us defending the box, three of them attacking and they still almost scored a fourth. Now they’re singing “Nathan Ake, he left cos you're shit.” Aren’t we just. City are laughing at us. Everyone is laughing at us. Team was sh*t, Conte is sh*t, the board are even sh*tter, Watford is going to be sh*t and you're all sh*t n'all. F*ck it. I'm going home.
So: Nappy sh*tting aside, that was like a really awful first date that's so bad that you have to go to the loo and call a mate to laugh about what a dick the guy is. It was like another generic sh*t Liam Neeson vengeful action thriller that you only sit through because you can laugh at bad it was. If Conte comes out and says he just focuses on the players and the next game after that I will laugh my head off. Because if more than five minutes thought went into that I will eat Mowgli's cap. The first half wasn’t great, but it wasn’t shocking. What happened in the second half, God only knows. The whole Chelsea side appeared to leave the building at half time. You knew the sh*t was hitting the fan when Barkley got yanked for Cesc on 50 odd minutes. Conte never makes early subs. Barkley had had a shocker to be fair - as in he played for Everton, who wear blue, and now he plays for us, and we wear blue; but he couldn’t find anything but a red shirt. Still, it’s his first start, he’ll get into the swing of things and he was far from the only culprit. And the lack of any established striker was glaring. Over and over again the ball was played into the box and there was nobody in there. Basically, it was a 45 minute shambles on our part. We had some reasonable attempts at goal tonight, and didn’t take any of them. Bournemouth, on the other hand, defended well, pressed us all night long and enjoyed good fortune too. I ask you this. Is it remotely possible that the angst between the board and the manager, which results in the manager constantly implying he doesn’t have a proper squad, is NOT going to eventually start to show on the pitch? If your manager is clearly miserable with what he’s got, are they going to believe in themselves? This is an interesting concept - and far less terrifying than this: If we don’t fix this in the next 20 days is it possible that we are going to get out the other side of two games against Uefalona, one against United and one against City without conceding twenty odd goals? I’ll finish on the one high note in this clusterf*ck before your heads explode. Hudson-Odoi take a bow. This game looked like the video to Thriller - a horror show. But he was Michael Jackson.
*Picture of Kante and some bloke reenacting the last scene from Dirty Dancing comes from Chelsea's official site.
Chelsea 3 Barcodes 0
FA Cup 4th Round
Sunday 28th January 2018 13:30
In the News: Conte. Conte. More Conte. I imagine that on press conference days Steve Atkins (the one who sits next to Antonio and polices the jackals) and Carlo Cudicini (appointed translator) feel like any chat show host that ever saw Oliver Reed walking out onto their set; terrified that he's lost the plot that much that he's going to launch into a stream of obscenities, grab someone's a*se, get his cock out, or all of the above.
This may be controversial, but I'm getting tired of Antonio's public complaining.
My personal observation is that he does not appear to have the kind of temperament that deals well with pressure. He’s an emotional man and he wears his heart on his sleeve. I’m not judging him, I couldn’t deal with the stresses of managing a Premier League football club, but we saw glimpses of it towards the tail end of last season as we closed in on the title. He lacks some of the traits that have helped others survive. He certainly isn’t bullsh*t filled (Allardyce) or Teflon-coated and delusional (Wenger) Conte says he's relaxed and just concentrating on the team, and one result at a time etc. etc. But just about everything he says and does at the moment screams otherwise. The ridiculous thing is, I think he's arguably under less pressure from above than any other manager at Chelsea has been for about a decade. So how much of it is pressure he is putting on himself? The board’s expectations have got to be lower. He came from nowhere last season, after we scraped into the top half of the league in 2015-16, and won the Premiership; sweeping aside Chequebook Pulis and St. Pep with half a squad. This season he has 3/4 of a squad. (We'll get to that) Given the lack of success over the summer in the transfer window, the amount of money spent by rivals and the fact that we punched far, far above our weight last season, I would be f*cking amazed if Chelsea were demanding anything more of the manager than a top four finish. Last eight of the Champions League would have been ambitious, but not unrealistic. The fact that we've been lumbered with Uefalona this early says to me that the hierarchy would be harsh if they considered an exit at the round of 16 as a failure on Conte's part. He says this is the harder year for him, and I agree. I’ve said this before: I see this really as year one for him. Last season's title win was a huge bonus, awesome, but it papered over the work that needed to be done to build what was a small squad, especially when it would lead to a serious increase in our workload after the summer. Now we are facing that work and that's OK. The core fan base will accept too that it takes time to build something, and bring players through. I don't think Antonio has got pressure on him from anywhere at the moment in terms of what the team has achieved this season. As for the cry-babies that throw a tantrum every time we don’t win 4-0, f*ck ‘em.
Antonio Conte has repeatedly complained about the size of his squad. We needed to add to our squad without completely disrupting it in the summer. We got Caballero in on a free. Who did we buy? Morata for a club record fee in the region of £60m. And four more fully fledged internationals. Our squad has had something like £200m spent on it in the last six months. There is literally no point trawling each and every bullsh*t link the Red Swarm have come up with since last May looking for evidence of the board's "failure" to sign players. I'll stick with the ones from Blue Squirrel:
Lukaku - We wanted him. At least someone in the club did. Then Everton tried to get Fabregas or Willian as part of the deal. We said f*ck off. The price went up. Too much. United were willing to pay this price because they have more money than sense. We signed Morata instead. As far as I'm concerned, we win. And so does Conte, who preferred him in the first place.
Sandro - I think it’s safe to say that Conte really wants him. The board got this done. Juve ultimately refused to sell him to us because they had been unable to purchase a replacement in that position and pulled out of the deal. I don’t know what his motivations were to join us. If it was to play for Conte, we may not get him now, but there was no reason this couldn’t have gone through this summer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain - Went to the Scouse because they made promises about what position he would be playing in. Personally I thought he was overpriced anyway. I’m not losing sleep over it.
Barkley - This one was a total clusterf*ck in the summer. The board got him in the door and into a medical before he decided to go home. He was injured anyway, had a meltdown, whatever. Whose fault it was at the time I don’t know, but he plays for us now, so it got fixed.
So what I’m saying is let’s not have a Yaya Toure style, birthday cake meltdown about a lack of spending in the last two windows. They may not have come up trumps in everything; wide players, for one, another striker, but the board have not been idle. Have they bought the players that Conte wanted? Quite possibly not. Because he's had one foot out of the door since last summer. At his own instigation we had no idea if he intended to stay or walk, so would you be catering to his requests? Or taking the actions you deem necessary to secure the long term future of the squad whoever may be in charge? Seems to me there is a certain element of making your own bed and having to lie in it here.
Who did we sell? Solanke - no choice. He ran his contract down and went somewhere offering more money. He was already stealing a living. Not bothered. Cuadrado - Already long gone anyway. Begovic - replaced by Caballero, no worries. Then the problems start. Chalobah and Ake were more puzzling. Unless you look at it from a non-Blue perspective. They didn’t want to stay, baffling as that may be to us. It’s not like they are setting the league on fire now that they have moved on, so were we wrong in terms of how good they were? Doesn’t look like it. But what does look bizarre is letting players walk out of the door when it’s detrimental to your own prospects because you won’t have enough of them. You’d think it was common sense to talk with your manager before you go into a room with these guys, but, who knows? Matic was the big one. He wanted to leave 12 months previously but we apparently made a deal with him - stay one more season then we'll let you go. His intention was always to follow Chequebook Pulis. Chelsea had two choices so far as he was concerned. Turn a profit, or force him to stay on against his will until he’s out of contract. To many of us it looked like the club weren’t stern enough, selfish enough. We got more than he was worth, especially considering his habit of going missing and his age, but he went to a rival, which stuck in my throat. Ultimately he had made his decision, we opted for financial compensation over moral victory in this one (because we aren’t Arsenal) and we extracted the maximum we could out of it. Opinions will vary about whether this was right or wrong, and if Conte wasn’t involved in this decision you can see why he’d be p*ssed off.
Conclusion? Conte isn’t particularly in the loop when it comes to who the board pursue or let leave if they show the inclination. But they haven’t hung him out to dry with purchasing players as some of the nappy sh*tters who constantly shriek about them would like to believe. Have the relations between the board and Conte been appropriate? Clearly something is wrong in terms of communication. Why does Conte feel the need to publicly address his issues with the board instead of dealing with them through appropriate channels? Of course there is a chance he’s just a lunatic, but he’s been a functioning, successful coach for a long time and to put it entirely on him is a stretch, however much you disagree with the way he is conducting himself right now. This needs to be addressed by the board. Still, after the game today he has still been reminding everybody that he doesn’t make any decisions. You’ve got a disgruntled employee. Deal with it. Kick his a*se or compromise, work out your differences. I don’t care who may have a problem with who and who is right and who is wrong, and who promised what and who has got a point. I’d just appreciate it if they all keep it in the boardroom where it belongs and get their sh*t together. Then when everybody emerges if they could act like grown ups that would be great. God knows everyone involved gets paid enough.
For me, if Conte goes in the summer, he will have been the architect of his own downfall to a significant degree. That will make me sad because I really do like him. I love what he has achieved with us, I love his passion, it’s infectious and we really had found a coach who everyone liked and who looked like he might stay for a reasonable length of time. His job has never been at risk from the club’s end. The simple truth is that we don't know what he was promised and just how much of a right he has to feel aggrieved about whether that has or hasn’t been forthcoming from the board. I have to add though, that given their determined backing of him during the Costa debacle, which was a monumental cock-up on Antonio’s part with text-gate and which harmed the strength of the squad, he can’t claim that support from above has been non-existent and lacking conviction. We can take a reasonable stab at the expectations on him and surmise that he has not fallen short of them so far. Even if he feels like it is his only outlet, it is not befitting for a manager to take his complaints to the press every time they wave a microphone anywhere near his face and criticise his employer. In any walk of life it would be unprofessional conduct and he should stop. Then go and knock on someone’s door instead. I would just like to wake up on one morning and not read umpteen articles about how the inside of Chelsea Football Club is like Lord of the F*cking Flies.
Transfer B*llocks: Palmieri and Dzeko could be confirmed in the next few days. Two positions in need of attention, so fingers crossed. Pep is bemoaning that he doesn't have as much money to spend as his rivals. F*ck off you hilarious bellend. Three wise men alert: Martin Keown's contribution to the world of football journalism this week? "I can't understand why Sanchez turned his back on City." Money, dickhead.
The Others: What moron decided, of all people, that it would be a good idea to let CRAIG PAWSON loose with VAR? He can barely function on a normal day. And not only did they give him Jonathan Moss as a fourth official, the Virtual W*nk Puppet was Andre f*cking Marriner. Eight times Poorson went to VAR, one of them for about half an hour. Once again, the match-going, ticket buying public have had their experience ruined. Once again, this cannot be allowed to happen. The only positive outcome of this was that we got to watch Firminho fall over his own hairdo and miss a penalty that never would have been. And then the Scouse lost. Shame. City are through, West Ham are out, and four games require replays. Including Sp*rs, who couldn’t beat Newport County. Ha.
Us: A reasonably strong side today, thanks to the draw against another Premier League side. Caballero still deputises for Thibaut, whose ankle was slightly mashed in training by one of our own academy players. Big day for Michy. Absolutely had to have an impact on this game.
Them: I only recognised Voldemort. (Shelvey) And some bloke up front who turned out to be Gayle.
No matter who hates who in the Cuckoo’s Nest this week, everyone at Stamford Bridge from the boardroom down to Stamford the Lion could agree on one thing at kick off. For the love of GOD, please don’t stick us with a replay and make us travel the 900 miles to Newcastle midweek in the cold for a replay.
We started off all right in the opening couple of minutes, but then they started running at us. It was a typical subdued early kick off, with a lot of transient cup fans too, so like the players the crowd took a while to get going. Hazard was hacked down on the edge of the box by Chancel Mbemba, whoever he may be, on 16 minutes and the free kick was the highlight of the game for us so far. Until it hit the wall, but we were just about accelerating out of third gear at this point. The Toon were gobby as always today, mostly preoccupied with whining at the ref over every decision he wouldn’t give them but there was the occasional diversion. It sounded like “You fat cockney b*stard get out of our club,” though last time I checked Buckinghamshire wasn’t within the sound of Bow Bells. Still, fair sentiment. Aside from a bit of hair-raising defending we were playing better, even if it wasn’t dazzling.
Voldemort forced a save from Big Willy on 25 minutes, before Zappacosta (I think) made a storming run up the pitch to reverse the play. A scramble in the goal mouth, a near miss and it eventually bobbled out for a goal kick. I was just moaning that we hadn’t fashioned a single shot on target in the first half an hour when Hazard brought down a long ball in the box, flicked it across the box, where Alonso stabbed it through to Michy to set him up with a tap in. 1-0. Christ what is that growing out of the top of his head? As if we haven’t given the Red Swarm enough fodder this week he has to come out with that hairdo.
And the nappy sh*tters were off. First they were complaining that they were bored. Go home then, you won’t be missed. Then it was a Bakayokofest. He’s sh*t. Apparently. He wasn’t even playing. He wasn’t even on the bench. So shut up. After a hairy moment at our end, a minute later we broke and Hazard laid it off to Michy, who made a pretty weak shot out of it. However, Lascelles was unlucky enough to see his block fly up over his keeper and dip in under the crossbar for a second goal for the much-maligned striker. Had the defender left it, probably would have been better off. Another unlucky one for Newcastle. Oh well, sh*t happens. They did their best to get back in it before half time, but heroics from Caballero kept them out and he flicked and palmed their efforts away from the goal.
Shortly after the break Rafa’s barcodes had commenced arguing amongst themselves. We had strains of one of “Harry Potter, he’s coming for you,” aimed at Shelvey and his luminescent head. Alonso almost scored a stunning goal with a left foot volley across the box that took a slight deflection, but it was well saved by the keeper on 55 minutes. Eden could have had one too shortly afterwards, when Michy knocked it on to him but his fellow Belgian had made his run just too soon and was caught offside. Tenacious Double D had his fair share of long range shots today too, but his range was off and the all seemed to be hooked to the right.
Rafa, who I don’t care about to the extent that I am never going to waste my time singing about him, tried to inject a now lacklustre Newcastle with some of the will to live by beginning his substitutions. It didn’t help. Hazard strung together a couple of good corners that were well defended, but they had little inspiration in the way of going forward. On 70 minutes Zappacosta won a free kick in prime Alonso territory. TDD, Cahill and Pesto (f*ck off autospell) all stuffed themselves in the wall and ducked at the right moment, leaving the way clear for Marcos to thump one of his specials into the top corner. Never in doubt. 3-0.
Barkley got his home debut and both Ampadu and Hudson-Odoi got a runout as the clock ran out. Ampadu played a blinding ball forward for Pesto, but it just ran off the end of his foot when he brought it down. Hudson-Odoi made a couple of strong runs across the middle of the field, weaving in and out of the barcodes in the little time that he had. Newcastle weren't shit. They weren't very potent but there was an utter lack of conviction about them in the second half that made the winding up of this game a formality. Michy did a fair amount of ball-hogging in the closing minutes, desperate for a third goal. The only man in the place screaming for him to miss was shortarse (special alias) who had a bet on 3-0, the first one he's placed for 20 odd years. The nappy sh*tters behind us had moved on to TDD now. He's sh*t too. Apparently. He was far better than the last time we saw him today.
Refwatch: Kevin Not-My-Friend. Didn't even notice the linesman flagging offside in the first half but mercifully anonymous. It’s amazing how good jobbers like him have started to look since we have seen the impact of the Virtual W*nk Puppets.
So: Another match won, despite the Lord of the Flies rhetoric in the red rags. Well done Michy, back that up on Wednesday with another good showing and you’ll be giving Conte a little bit more to think about. None of the drama about this round that we endured in the Norwich tie. Draw is tomorrow evening, and let’s hope for something interesting. Apart from the announcement of two Roma players I would really like to enjoy blissful silence coming out of the Chelsea press room this week, so we can all concentrate on football instead.
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Wednesday 24th January 2018 20:00
A second trip to L'Arse this month for a competition named after an animal I didn't even know existed until they slapped it on a can of energy drink that tastes of piss. I figure I will just bash the Goons as much as I can in the next 3000 thousand words because it will make us feel better.
In the News: I'd not be doing my job properly if I didn't start by savaging Ronaldo. Who took the physio's phone out so he could check out his reflection after he picked up an injury at the weekend. You're still vain and over-tanned. And your cemented down hair has still not moved since the last time you looked. Because you weren't hit with a sledgehammer. You're just a bit dirtier than usual. The yoof are the only academy left in the EFL Cup after smashing Oxford to make the semi-finals. Watford sacking Silva because he looked at another girl (Everton) and then trashing her online might actually surpass some of our manager dismissals. But they are basically the two whiniest clubs in the league so it is to be expected. And they are welcome to each other. The Daily Fail's "Three Wise Men" have been at it again. Chris Sutton has been waffling about what a big hole Hazard is going to leave behind when he goes. He is that uninformed about what is going on in the world of football right now that he is writing articles (supposedly it's him) about things that haven't even happened. Redknapp Jr. says that Sanchez was born to play for United because he can handle pressure. I'd argue that he was under pressure at Arsenal seeing as they never win anything meaningful, and that they still didn't win anything meaningful even after he was proclaimed the Messiah. He walked away from that pressure. He also walked away from the pressure at Barcelona when it meant trying to win a place in the team. Not to mention he couldn't handle the faintest bit of pressure on the back of his leg from JT when he went to the floor like he'd been felled by a rampant wildebeest in 2012. And Phil Neville has been called out for making funny funny jokes about beating his wife. Speaking of, for those that so kindly contributed to our charity drive for women and children at a domestic violence shelter near CFC for Christmas, whose lives have been wrecked by it, do head over to my twitter feed to see the thank-yous and cards we've been sent by some of the children and their mothers. Maybe Phil should look too before he makes a joke like that again.
Transfer B*llocks: Dzeko isn't Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes or Emile Heskey, so I'll take him. I think we're determined to spunk money this month to stop Conte from spontaneously combusting in a press conference, regardless of whether he intends to stay in the summer or not. (Hence why we are sniffing out someone on the cheap) So the other Edin is the lesser of all evils. In the meantime the nonsense names continue to spring up - we're on to Slimani now. I love that the bellends in the media seem to have one criteria for linking us with a striker. Is he big? Does he jump? Do it! Write that sh*t up! Re: the two Roma players, we're still talking, but it isn't done yet. (Blue Squirrel)
Mrs Brown (sitcom alias) sent me a text before kick off:
"Uninspiring stat coming out of Roma. Dzeko has scored only twice in his last 17 games.
Me: He'll fit right in with us then.
Happily he scored tonight.
After long being linked with the Toon, Kenedy has departed north on loan. Would Conte be letting a left-sided player go without a replacement being lined up/a shoe-in to arrive? I think not. If we are to trust the Red Swarm, which of course would make us stupider than leaders of nuclear powers baiting each other on twitter, we're not the only ones having spasms of desperation. Whinger is apparently so desperate for a proper defender/to get rid of Mertesacker that he's willing to pay £25m for Jonny Evans. Who's 30. And not that good.
And so it begins. Pogba wants his wages doubled to £450k a week because Sanchez's pay packet is going to be so disproportionate to everyone else's. United are morons. Not to mention irresponsible. They've made their bed so now they can lie in it, while we laugh at them. They've joined a gang previously only populated by desperado clubs from the Chinese League who would offer you enough money to feed a small nation to go and play for them. We would have to buy Andy Carroll for something in the region of £80m to match their stupidity. Speaking of stupidity, I love Sanchez's claim about always supporting United. He's obviously been to the Robbie Keane school of bullsh*t for newly signed players. They've even photoshopped an old picture of him to convince us all. Alexis's love is clearly fickle, as it took three times the amount he is worth in wages to get him there when he was a gnat's fart away from signing for their biggest rivals. Meanwhile back at Arsenal, Whinger's obliviousness to his own plight will never die, and it will never cease to be hilarious. He can't understand why anyone would ever want to leave L'Arse. Because of you, Arsene, you fool, because of you.
The Others: There's nowt so good as laughing at the misfortune of those you can't stand. Harry f*cking Kane (not possible to say it without inserting the swearword) could do nothing to orchestrate a win against Southampton, whilst at the other end a teenage debutant could have nicked all of the points for the Saints. And Klippity Klopp is being touted as the Robin Hood of the Premier League - robbing points from the rich (City) to give to the poor (Swansea) Carragher has warned the the red gits that Virgil Van Dijk is not capable of fixing their shambolic defence on his own. Something everyone else figured out while they were bouncing around after signing him telling everybody that next year going to be their year. Meanwhile in this competition, how you can laud City as the most incredible team ever seen, anywhere, when they conceded two goals against Bristol City is beyond me. A spirited performance from the underdogs but nonetheless Pep and his prima donnas are through to the final.
Them: No Sanchez, ahahahaha. No but seriously, it looked like the first team. But I can't be sure because all of them just blend into one big red and white blur of wasted potential.
Us: Still no Cesc, and no Morata either. Big Willy would always have started I think tonight, and in front of him Conte had heeded Hazard's cry and gone all out. The Belgian started up front with Willian and Pesto (yawn, autospell), and behind them was much as we would have anticipated. Someone near us complained that Barkley didn't start. He's got no match fitness, bellend, and it's a cup semi final. This will become ironic as this article goes on, because this idiot said a lot more about Ross Barkley as the night went on.
The Goons would not shut up about their prematch light show. It basically consisted of turning lights on and off a lot and playing a selection of mid-90s dance music over the tannoy. Still a load of empty seats, despite that half a*sed effort. And it wasn't Norwich's fault this time. And so we began, with Shorta*se (special alias) threatening to hold up his little homemade A4 sign that read, "Hazard, can I have 1% of your wages?" Can’t blame a guy for trying.
Let's face it we needed to do something different than the last two times we'd played them and happily we started pressing straight away. The first shot fell to Bakayoko and it deflected out for a corner in the fourth minute. The less said about what happened next the better. A minute later we'd had a goal chalked off as offside, and this was already a better start than any of our recent outings against these muppets. So far their biggest cheer had come when they won a tackle.
Moments later we were ahead when Pesto put the ball through to Eden and he banged it into the bottom left corner. Then it was like they suddenly started participating in the game. Nine minutes in and we required heroics from Big Willy, who nearly managed to break himself in the process. There was some panic. "I don't even know what Eduardo looks like." This from a genius in front of us. I'm sure he rates you highly too. By the end of the night Janice (muppet alias) and I were suppressing the urge to rip the cushions out of our seats and smother him with them. The idiot. Not Eduardo.
The Goons continued to come at us and the f*ckers got a lucky deflection. An own goal. Dammit. In general tonight was not Rudi’s finest hour, but that was unlucky. They’d literally only participated in about a minute of the game so far. And their fans were giving it like they had actually opened their mouths before the moment that ricocheted in. Greatest team the world has ever seen, they whined. Not sang. This is a Goon phenomena that's an octave higher than at any other football ground and the more hysterical they get the more it reaches a pitch that only dogs can hear.
Then we were pressing again. On twenty minutes we sent an effort across the face of goal. Everything was happening down the other end, as we were attacking, so we amused ourselves with "He left cos you're sh*t" and Arsene Wenger, we want you to stay.” Then our night began to fall apart. On 26 minutes. Willian pulled up. (all of these times are rough again, because of the pretentious b*stardry of them running their clocks backwards because they think they are intellectually and morally superior to everyone else in football) And then he limped off. That threw us a bit. Being the spoilsport w*nkers they are the Goons just passed it round aimlessly and wouldn't let it go out of play. From the away end came cries of
We've got Ross Barkley
We've got Ross Barkley
He left the Scouse
Cos they robbed his house
We've got Ross Barkley
For clarity going forward, the singers included the idiot in front of me and a gobsh*te behind. You need to remember this.
All the flow had gone out of our game and it took a few minutes before we settled down again and resumed pressing. With five minutes of the half to go they'd had 38% possession. They'd literally cheered twice. Once for the tackle and once for the own goal. Obviously Captain Jack had done a lot of whinging too but his voice is annoying and nobody f*cking cared. Also because he's a moaning little runt version of Rooney. Both sides were just faffing towards half time now. Apart from a brief goal mouth scramble on our part little happened until injury time when they had a shot blocked. I sh*t you not, gobsh*te and the bloke in front were already moaning at half time that Ross Barkley hadn't done anything. After a ropey opening few touches he had been fine. I am so tired of this incessant negativity, I can't even tell you. Literally go f*ck yourselves. With a rusty claw hammer.
The first surge forward in the second half was entirely fuelled by Bakayoko, but our first real break came on 50 minutes with Hazard rampaging up the pitch; the ball just running away from him. They'd had the brighter start, but how Mustafi didn't get booked for tapping Eden's heel when he was scampering away towards the goal was mortifying. It was dead in front of me. F*ck what the replay and the W*nk Puppets say. The play was pretty end to end as the game continued, but they looked more dynamic. Pesto, as he does, faded as time progressed, and barring a barn storming run from Hazard, the only other person who tried to take the ball and propel us forward with any venom was Ross Barkley. Almost all of the balls he played went up the pitch. Not sideways or back towards Big Willy. They were different balls too. He definitely gives Antonio more options with his style of play.
Then the tossers scored again. Yes, those gits that call us classless but boo their former players and accuse everyone else of cheating when they fall down easier than Bertie the kitten with all four of his paws tied together. Granit f*cking Xhaka. Whose parents are so imaginative that they named him after a rock. Where have all these Goons come from? Suddenly you couldn’t hear yourself think for all of the smug gittery. Pesto could have fashioned a shot from a great position straight afterwards, but he just chipped it high and it floated to Ospina. Obviously there's always the chance he'd drop it like a dickhead, but no joy this time. On the touchline Michy was getting ready to come on. No pressure. We just looked ropey now, and I think we went about five minutes without touching the ball. Pesto made way for the Batman on 64 minutes, and we were just getting frustrated now.
Ospina is nearly as sh*t as the Red Scouse’s two clown keepers and we were just not putting him under any pressure. We weren’t getting anywhere near him. Let’s get Refwatch out of the way. Michael Oliver with Neil Swarbrick as his Virtual W*nk Puppet. Is this because nobody trusts Swarbrick to run around on a football pitch anymore? Because he's been saddled with this crap at least three times already. Actually there are TWO Virtual W*nk Puppets now. Mick McDonogh, whoever that is. Just to muddy the waters of sanity a bit more. Thankfully they had little to do with tonight’s game. Much like Mesut Özil, most of the time they got paid for doing nothing. Oliver was OK. Pointedly looking the other way when they kicked the ball away and ignoring the odd foul were about the extent of his transgressions. But his ferrety face annoys me.
Zappacosta came on for Moses on 72 minutes. As good a shout as any, I suppose, as Victor had done little of note in the second half. But in truth, plan A was foiled by Willian’s injury, plan B didn’t pay off tonight and there was no plan C. It just didn’t look like it was going to happen. I don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that every time Ospina takes a goal kick they do a building shout of his name like he’s special; or the fact that when they do it he lifts his hand up to them as if to say: “that’s my name.”
By now idiot and the gobsh*te had collapsed into paroxysms of f*ckwittery. “Barkley doesn’t look fit.” And: “Barkley is sh*t, I don’t know why we bothered.” He was not sh*t by any stretch of the imagination. And of course he didn’t look fit. He hadn’t played a proper game of football for 248 days. That was May 2017. At no point was it part of the plan to give him an hour of football tonight. He was understandably blowing out of his a*se towards the end of the second half, and no, it was not because he is sh*t. It’s because he had to step up do too much too soon. I don’t think there were enough claw hammers to go round tonight. In the 86th minute I had all but lost the will to live on account of these two and because it seemed that we just didn’t have it in us now to come back and equalise. It was not to be our night. Barkley won us a free kick in Marcos territory, but the second half was summed up when the ball flew over the bar, soared past me and landed somewhere in Islington. Where I presume one of the locals stole it.
So: As soon as Willian went off the plan was f*cked. There was no like for like change to be made that would continue the same dynamic, which was working quite well. We had a good go up till half time, tried when the game resumed, then muddled along for a bit, but after they scored we just ran out of ideas. I can’t have a go at Batshuayi, it’s not like he got much service. Bakayoko was much, much better tonight. So the nappy sh*tters went hell for leather at another target. Some of the effluence about Barkley was as ignorant as it was petty. Mostly coming from entitled brats who forget that up till tonight we were on an unbeaten run of a dozen games. Jermaine Penis fanned the flames on TV; said Ross has to do more and that he needs to take responsibility. After watching him play his first hour of football in a cup semi final after an eight month hiatus. I like the comedic value of this, because on his best day, that gap-toothed moron wouldn't have touched Barkley as a player. It’s why his career whimpered away to nothing.
Alex is going to be the voice of reason: Let's not sh*t a brick. First time we’ve lost in ages. Yes, it's frustrating because it was a semi final. Yes, if Willian hadn't gone off and we hadn't had to improvise instead of playing the game we planned, I think we could have won it. And yes, we fell off in the second half and were once again flaccid against the worst Arsenal side in years. But. Put yourself, if you can stomach it, in their retro 1930s shirts and poncey, highly polished, metrosexual brogues (with pointed toes) for a moment. They're saddled with Whinger, who isn't going to leave unless he's dragged out by security or carried out in a body bag. We have a first team player that wasn't out of nappies when they last won the league. And as for Europe, it will be at least September 2019 before they hear the strains of the Champions League hymn again. Unless they're watching it on TV and sulking. And we don't have to watch Lacazette every week knowing that we once thought of him as a world class footballer who was going to set our club on fire. Let them have their Carabao Piss Cup final. They're singing about being the greatest football team the world has ever seen because they won by an own goal and are about to go to Wembley and get violated by City. And it is literally the only thing in life they have got to look forward to. Happy days.
Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Chelsea 4
Saturday 20th January 2018 12:30
New song alert: (leave it to Mrs Brown, musical genius that he is)
"VAR (just say it as a word- angrily)
What is it good for?
It amused us anyway.
In the News: The players on both sides, managers, pundits and fans all stated how obvious Willian's penalty shout was on Wednesday. Then we were just waiting on an explanation from the referee and his virtual w*nkpuppet as to why they couldn't figure that out. That's what I'm calling the VAR bod from now on - the Virtual W*nk Puppet. And here it comes. Yesterday we had the blinding revelation that it was because the VWP "didn't have access to BBC footage showing the replay." PUT THE F*CKING TV ON!! It's the BBC it's not like it is difficult to find. It's available to anyone with a TV set or an active internet connection. Bertie has fathomed how to work the switch on the bottom of my TV. That means my KITTEN has the intelligence to have gained access to the BBC footage. Just turn the sound off if you are in doubt about it "swaying his opinion." But then that's the point, right? To show him things a second time? God forbid it should sway him into making the correct f*cking decision. This VAR travesty needs to be kicked out until somebody puts more than 30 seconds of thought into it. And by someone I mean not a chimp. Or Mike Riley.
Speaking of pointless and annoying exercises, a "Chelsea fan" has made a seven minute video on youtube or something equally as soulless and attention-seeking, demonstrating all the things he thinks Bakayoko has done wrong this season. This is not the kind of thing you do if you have anything meaningful in your life, or, you know, are actually a Chelsea supporter. And Arsenal has been referred to as a "talent graveyard" this week. This would tally, as former Blue Andre Schurrle has declared that everyone at Dortmund is totally baffled as to why Aubameyang would want to sign for them. Joyously, Arsene says he fully intends to stick around next season.
Transfer B*llocks: The Red Swarm are filling plentiful amounts of space by linking us to every striker this side of Pluto. Which is, and will remain a planet in my eyes till the day I die because you just can't move the goalposts like that. The made up story about us signing Carroll has gone away. Thank God. We've moved on to Crouch. I ask you, as ridiculous as this sounds, is it any worse than turning to Michy right now? At least if someone punts the ball up to him in the 89th minute he might win it. But do you know what is more ridiculous? The fact that Cavani despises Neymar and wants out of PSG and he's about the only player we haven't been linked with. Lazy work by the gutter press. Who also seem really puzzled as to how Chequebook Pulis has managed to muscle his way into another transfer deal and steal the prize. It isn't complicated. The answer is: "United offer to pay any criminal, tasteless amount of money in transfer fees and wages regardless of what a player is worth." Sanchez is going to be earning more money than Ronaldo, roughly speaking about 50% more than Hazard, nearly 100% more than De Britney (hilarious, autospell) at City, not to mention seven times as much as anyone is getting from the tight wads at T*ttenham. It's a total anomaly in the market and patently ridiculous. Not to mention the more you make yourself look this desperate the more people will shaft you going forward. Not that I care about that. We are allegedly looking at Nice's midfielder Seri now too. I don't know about anyone else, but I break out in a sweat whenever we are linked with an African-affiliated player, because it just throws up memories of the pain we’ve suffered when the Cup of Nations has come around previously and Essien, Drogba, Kalou and Mikel etc. disappeared in the middle of the season. But I need not fear. Inevitably when he is about to sign Chequebook Pulis will swoop in like an opportunistic, shrieky vulture and offer him £900k a week and a unicorn to ride to training.
"I want to push us to the next level" says Theo Walcott on joining Allardyce at Everton. That will be helping your teammates leave your own half then. He was apparently so desperate to get away from Whinger that he ransacked the training ground with a bin liner in the middle of the night to get his sh*t out of there.
"Three Wise Men" alert - Keown (who has been dubbed as one of these along with Sutton and Redknapp jr by the Daily Fail) reckons Sanchez is the "biggest mercenary in football." He's such a drama queen when it comes to the Goons. Though it is fun watching him spit the dummy. Like once, when our away fans threw a ball at his face when he was giving a TV interview. How can you rate him as a bigger mercenary than Tevez, who went to China for £650k a week and then came back laughing at how it had been a worthless footballing experience?
The Others: CP and his mob scraped a win, City's score made their victory look more convincing than it might have been when Newcastle almost got back in it despite hardly touching the ball. After Wednesday that penalty City were given is laughable. But then it was Sterling throwing himself on the floor so I’m not surprised. The Goons got it right for a change, and I still can’t take Captain Jack seriously when he comes out to do post match interviews all snooty because he’s supposedly in charge now. Presumably they have to wait for him to have a spliff and a WKD Blue before he emerges from the dressing room. The rest of the top six play tomorrow and Monday.
Them: I couldn't pick any of their players out of a line up if you paid me. I'd heard of Duffy, Kruuuuuuul (you have to say it like he's a super villain) and that was about it.
Us: Oh my. No Thibaut, no Cahill, no Drinkwater, no Fabregas and of course no Pesto (silly autospell, silly boy) and no Morata. That’s six. Conte has, I believe, since said that we were missing five important players today. Did he just exclude the keeper? Or did he mean someone else? There’s something for you to argue over. I'd say the only potential game-changer on the bench was Musonda. Who knows what Barkley would be capable of, as he hadn't played for months, so I felt it really was up to the starting eleven to decide this.
Nine passes before we got out of our own half, that didn't bode well, but an early free kick went straight to the keeper. There would be no Blue Lament in A Minor with Morata up front today. He'll have to wait to break his duck. So where would the goals, thus far basically non existent in 2018, come from?
The team answered that quickly enough. Eden stood completely unmarked in the box, despite Brighton players being in close proximity. A change to three at the back was initially disastrous. Hazard took it past one, then managed to strike a path through three defenders and the goalkeeper to put it emphatically in the back of the net. Oh dear Brighton. I love Caballero, he's bonkers. You'd have thought he'd won the World Cup down the other end with us when the goal went in and he went psycho. He's a consummate team player, always got the right attitude. "We've scored a goal" sang the away fans. (To the tune of that awful "We've Won It All") We'd barely finished celebrating when Willian doubled our lead. Precise play between Hazard, Batshuayi and him ended with a back heel from Michy to lay it off for Willian to leather it into just past the post. Five minutes gone. 0-2 up. "We've scored two goals" was the song now.
I made one up too:
"You can shove your Andy Carroll up your a*se"
Ten whole people sang it.
I'd like to point out here that I (ok, and several thousand others) have persistently whined about the need to start at least two of Willian, Hazard and Pesto to be effective going forward. Brighton could do nothing when faced with the first two running at them, but they had joined the game now and were not downhearted. Their first shot came on 13 minutes but it was tame and easily claimed by Big Willy. Our stand in goalkeeper then had his regular match day brain fart. He started well by palming the ball away from another effort, but then when he chased it out he failed to get there first. They half-shouted for a penalty when Schelotto went down and the goal was open, but we got it away. Mowgli was our Virtual W*nk Puppet today and after standing with a dopey look (that comes naturally) on his face and a finger stuck in his ear for thirty seconds he declared that it wasn't a penalty. There was a modicum of contact, but the theatrical fall didn’t do him any favours. Fair play to Brighton, they could have sagged worse than Sam Allardyce's bitch tits after an awful start but they were giving it a go. On 19 minutes they had two successive corners and the last resulted in a backward header towards the goal that went just wide, and Big Willy and Dave had to combine to shuffle another home attempt clear. Our substitute goalie has got his own song now; the same as Anelka's.
They definitely had their tails up, if seagulls have tails, but we were not being forced out of it. In the run up to halftime we pinged the ball across the face of goal and Michy hit one wide on the turn. His part in the second goal today was prolific, and spot on, but he was so sloth-like on the ball at other times it was like watching Mikel suffering from bubonic plague, with a hangover, and his feet tied together. He's surely running out of chances now in so far as scoring goals is concerned. Add to that he stropped off the pitch without so much as acknowledging the travelling support and my giveaf*ckometer is just non-reactive to his plight at the moment. He's a nice guy, seemingly, but no matter how well he supports his teammates going forward, he isn’t going to silence his critics. He needs to score more goals.
Not quite the explosive start to the second half that we'd enjoyed with the first. In fact it was almost the reverse, culminating in a header from Davy Pröpper that struck the post. At this point we were barely touching the ball. God help us, I'm running out of metaphors about how deep we play when we're ahead. At this point our defenders were as good as tottering on the edge of the Mariana Trench. I consoled myself, because there was no gin, with the notion that one break during all of their attacking endeavour might put this game to bed. We got one on 56 and Eden survived one crunching tackle, scrambled up and was promptly fouled 20 odd yards out. There were inevitable chants of Alonso's name, but in the meantime we lost Christensen, who had suffered a head injury ten minutes before that had required lengthy treatment. Luiz whipped his tracksuit off and scurried forth. He looked like he may even take the free kick but he and Alonso stood aside to make way for Willian, who shot forced the goalkeeper to push it onto the post. My rage levels were rising. I lost count of the amount of times the bloke behind me staccato coughed on me without covering his mouth. It was like that episode of South Park where Paris Hilton walks around coughing up jizz. Mowgli had to wipe green snot off my shoulder. And all the while Brighton appeared to be agonisingly near to getting a goal back. On 65 minutes they came close again. By this time Barkley was making a bid to get on, edging closer and closer up the line towards Conte as if to say: "pick me, pick me!" The boss was too busy going ballistic at Michy for giving the ball away again to notice. It had most definitely become more hairy at the back since Christensen went off. Remember Reading under Rafa anyone? Please don't do this to me Chelsea. In the event, we got Zappacosta for Alonso, who had been put through the ringer. If we want to sign someone, why don't we enquire about Ezekiel Schelotto? Because he tore the artist formerly known as George Michael a new one, and it’s not like we have an abundance of personnel in that position.
Leave it to Hazard to sort us out. Willian set him off on a run down the left-hand side in acres of space. There were four defenders in the box, but they didn’t really look like they had a clue about how to take him on. Half of them ended up on the floor, along with the keeper (and Michy, who sensibly just lay down and stayed out of the way) and the ball was in the net to secure the three points and a brace for my favourite Belgian export ever. And that includes gin AND chocolate. They just couldn't handle him at all today, and their basic response to him scampering away towards their goal was to bring him down. There were now the inevitable strains of "You've had your day out, now f*ck off home." And they did, to an extent. Little did we know that it was nothing to do with the score and all to do with the fact that getting away from Amex is akin to the nightmare of waking up to find Wayne Rooney naked next to you. (So I'm reliably informed by my nan)
Barkley was not to get his debut today, as Musonda was now getting ready to come on. When you think about it, he probably deserves a run out at 3-0 more right now, and had Christensen not had to go off, they might have both got on. Charley replaced Willian on 80 minutes and found he has his own song. Pesto is going to have to share the tune from "Oh Pesto Rodriguez." By now we were amusing ourselves with "you're just a sh*t Crystal Palace." They didn't like that. I don't think Brighton deserved to take anything out of this game, but overall they didn't deserve to lose by four. However, I don’t think they would have banked on a beautifully weighted long ball into the box from Charley Musonda. Great take down from Moses, who slotted it home for a fourth with seconds left in normal time for his first goal since August. And just to rub it in, he slid on his knees and ripped up the pitch, leaving the groundsmen in tears.
Refwatch: Well nothing can be as bad as the Not-So-Admirable-Kryten on Wednesday night. I'm still reeling from his f*ckwittery. Looks like they were blooding in some newer victims this week. But who do we get? Jonathon f*cking Moss, a flaccid old donkey. He’d already waved off one softer appeal for a penalty because he was in a stupid position, before his inevitable demise towards incompetence started on 35 minutes. Have to say it was in front of us the second time and it looked like it should have been one when Schelotto was brought down. (Jesus, as he was affectionately called by some of their fans - no doubt this will be ruled out as politically incorrect and offensive, but it’s based on little more than the fact that he has long hair and a bit of facial fuzz) Obviously it wasn’t given, but note the rabid inconsistency in that there was no yellow for diving and another one for dissent straight afterwards when he kicked off, such as Kryten came up with on Wednesday. Moss eventually yanked a card out. For what transgression, who knows? It's a good job PGMOL don't have to answer to anyone, about anything, ever. Every time we see this official he is a clusterf*ck of faffing about, sh*t decisions and utter buffoonery. Though if we want to set fire to him today I think we'll have to line up behind 25,000 Brighton fans who vehemently booed him off at the end of both halves like the pantomime character that he is.
So: F*ck we needed that. I still heard people mugging off Bakayoko on the way out of the ground. Just precisely what split-second transgression they've decided to nappy sh*t over during the course of a solid showing from him today is beyond me. This is a good result before heading into yet another interminable fixture against L'Arse where we set up not to get tanked and nothing really happens. Until we inevitably sink so deep that we concede a stupid late goal and go crashing out of the competition within touching distance of another trip to Wembley. Did I tell you I was a glass half empty person? If we retain the formation we started with today, we can win it. If not, it could well be, to coin a phrase from Stamford Chidge, a load of a*se gravy.
*Picture of the two Seagull slayers comes from Chelsea's official site
Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 AET
(Chelsea finally f*cking win a week and a half late 5-3 on penalties)
FA Cup 3rd Round Replay, Wednesday 16th January 2018 19:45
Tickets priced at double what they should have been in mid-January. For a game that was televised for all anyway. And thousands displaced because Norwich demanded the whole shed and then failed to sell even half of it. Utter farce. And that's before the game even kicked off.
In The News: We've won out against the "right to light" nonsense. Brendan Rodgers reckons he was hospitalised "over the strain of leaving the Red Scouse" in 2015. Presumably some kind of muscular strain from carrying all of the cash they paid him off with. Either that or the weight of his own fake teeth kept dragging his face down and he couldn't see where he was going until he had them removed. Nobody feels sorry for you Brendan. Somehow David Moyes is one of only four managers to have won 200 games in the Premier League. 'Arry Redknapp is one of the others. Proof that if you hang around like an unwanted, dirty fart long enough, just about anything can happen. As if lauding Keown, Sutton and Redknapp Jr. as the three wise men wasn't hilarious enough, the Daily Fail are bigging up their "brilliant" new column. The author of this splendiferous offering? Michael f*cking Owen. As if listening to him drone on isn't torture enough, they want us to read his drivel now too. "Guardiola has taken the hard road to glory." He says. Do shut up. Yawnworthy, attention seeking pillock with the intellectual capacity and charm of a dead haddock. The only brilliance he can claim credit for is finding an agent that continually convinces people to pay him for his boring, self-centred opinions.
Russia stand accused of planning to dope their whole team at the World Cup. Isn't clear if this is to make them play better or to help them cope with sitting through the whole yawnfest tournament. Speaking of international dross, Shearer has mocked Giggs's appointment as Wales manager, and with good cause after he spent an entire career using every ingrowing toenail or minor splinter to get out of playing for his country. More bizarre even than his sudden affinity for international football is the revelation that he has never apologised to his brother. And if you needed anymore proof that the Red Swarm are idiots, a whole article was dedicated to the fact that Sean Dyche's gravelly voice is down to the fact that he eats worms. I'd say you couldn't make this sh*t up. But they have.
Transfer B*llocks: As was expected, Merseyside police have confirmed with the Mayor of Scouseland that he is a rabid lunatic after he demanded that they investigate the Barkley transfer. An evening headline today has made my week. The same gutter press that spent the whole summer criticising us for not spending enough money, not being active enough in the transfer market, not buying enough players; the same Red Swarm that has spent the whole of the first half of the season reminding us at every juncture that Conte didn't get what he wanted because we suck as a club... Is now mocking us with this: "Chelsea struggling to profit from £185m summer spree." Do f*ck off. Apparently Sevilla have expressed a desire to sign Batshuayi. I hope they didn't watch the game tonight.
The Others: Just the 57 separate stories re the Scouse defeat of City. It did make me chuckle, but we will literally never, ever hear the end of this. My favourite one? Next year is their year. I've not heard that before. And Arsenal are still doing their best to amuse the rest of the footballing world. I don't know whether to laugh because they are so awful or cry because we still can't score against them. This comes hand in hand with the news that their whole squad is nearing the end of their contacts and the lofty claim that it's more expensive to support them than any other club on the planet. Two words: W*nker tax. Southampton robbed by naff refereeing. Shocker. Much more entertaining: French referee Tony Chapron kicks player who runs into him like a dope and then sends him off.
Us: In a week when Antonio has declared that keeping players happy is only a concern in England, and that in Italy nobody gives a sh*t as long as they do their jobs, he made a host of changes. I think Dave was the only survivor, but this match has now been dragged out for so long tonight that I don't actually care if that is right or not. Either way, he was clearly determined to do this largely with the same squad players that subjected us to the original tie at Carrow Road. The bench was stacked better this time, in case we needed to turn the screw. And boy would we need to try and turn the screw.
Them: I've spent eight hours on Asquith, Lloyd George and the collapse of the coalition in 1916 today. I'm all out of f*cks to give when it comes to things I don't really care about.
A trip to the posh seats in the East Middle for me tonight, to join JK of fancast fame. While everyone else was freezing their tits off outside we were indulging in gourmet pasta salad with brocollini and cheese twists, not to mention gin. There's no slumming it trying to get a 4G signal to get the team news, they give you a colour printout complete with a sexually suggestive and perhaps a bit creepy Bakayoko photo on it. This was the least I deserved after having to power walk from Parsons Green in four inch heels because TFL think we are stupid enough to believe that one faulty train causes a shut down of half the District Line.
Kick off was duly put back, as if everyone wasn't in a bad enough mood over this fixture already. But we plugged the gap by decadently quaffing smarties and minstrels like spoilt Gooners in Ossie's during the delay. JK and I saw nothing in the first five minutes to distract us from our pick n mix. Then we had a couple of half chances, culminating with a narrow miss for Dave on eight minutes. A free kick shortly afterwards went straight at the keeper, and from then on we began to drift. Norwich broke, and Big Willy came rushing out of his goal in his obligatory, once a game dash to the sideline, but once again he put it in the stands and bailed us out.
Can you get carpal tunnel in your feet? Because sometimes this feels like the only possible explanation for how bad poor Michy's first touch is. After he squandered an incoming ball on 18 minutes, Kenedy did manage to get his foot on it and take a shot shortly afterwards. It was blocked, but it was going out for a throw in anyway. And so the pain of the last couple of weeks continued. JK and I had survived so far, but now we were coming down off of our sugar high and the smartie supply was dwindling. The fact that we were achieving nothing almost didn't matter on 24 minutes when Tenacious Double D hit the crossbar, but it was already evident that Conte's number one priority at half time had to be to get someone to go over the offside rule with Batshuayi. Our hapless striker had even managed to set them up for their best opportunity of the game so far, by gifting them the ball on the edge of the eighteen yard box. We decided we'd almost rather have Andy Carroll than watch him do things like that. Almost.
Norwich had offered little going forward, but they were spritely and by no means incompetent. I have repeatedly told Pepe the Prawn off (muppet alias) for the Batshuayi song he's devised (Oh Michy your so bad, your so bad you make me sad, hey Michy) But it was going round and round in my head at this point. Luiz too had been woeful, same Zappacosta, not a lot better from Kenedy. Pesto (f*ck off autospell) had a bizarre one tonight. He went from good, to bad, to bonkers, to running about trying to mount everyone like a randy Jack Russell, to being a massive bellend tonight with his dive. As half time approached the bananas were coming into it more, and this was turning into another lacklustre display of sloppy play. Their fans had the cheek to start singing “Just like the library.” Two-thirds of a stand that would have been happily filled with the resident season ticket holders was empty because they are greedy dickheads. Upshot of the first half? Bertie the kitten has buried stuff in his litter tray that looks better than this football match.
If you could have seen Conte’s face on 49 minutes when Michy failed again, it was a picture. For a moment he looked like he wanted to run on and pummel him with his angry Italian fists, and then he just shook his head. But. On a day when I was about to let Batshuayi have it with both barrels for the blog, he then went and scored. You could argue that if he hadn’t put that in unmolested from five yards out we should have just packed him off to the knacker’s yard, but let’s not be mean. He’d scored, which is more than can be said for anyone else in the last fortnight. However, Norwich just wouldn’t f*ck off. Big Willy was earning his money tonight, punching the ball clear and then diving to cover another shot that eventually hit the post. Never mind all of the atrocious shirt pulling in the box by the away side. That’s allowed, apparently. Pesto got himself booked for a dive on 61. The bananas occupying a smaller fraction of the Shed than they’d promised were singing “Same old Chelsea, always cheating.” They’ve been in the same league as us for about two seasons in the last two decades. How would they know anything about what Chelsea get up to?
Caballero was forced into another save on 64 minutes, by which time Antonio was going psycho on the touchline. Another long range effort for Drinkwater went high and wide. My kingdom for Solomon Kalou to spring off the bench right now and dig us out of this, because you could just see it coming as we sank deeper and deeper. But Conte looked like he was going to try and rectifiy the situation, as Morata was taking clothes off. Usually this would make me very happy at such close range, but the game had been so dire that JK and I had resorted to discussing the Red Baron’s pre-flight career on the Eastern Front as a cavalryman in 1914. Christensen was getting ready too, as Bakayoko sent a shot sailing into the keeper’s arms. Closer than most efforts so far tonight. Michy and Chuckie Ampadu (Rugrats reference, google it) who was pretty blameless tonight, went off. On their part, some pasty ginger bloke limped off and was replaced by Wes Houlihan, who was the only player in the Norwich squad I have ever heard of.
The difference in class between our two strikers was alarmingly evident, even if Morata did miss yet more sitters. Conte brought Kante on too. If the twins Couldn’t bring this home, nobody could.
The biggest cheer of the night so far came when the tannoy announced that TfL had got their sh*t together and that the District Line was running again. But before we could make the cold, wet journey home, we had four minutes of injury time to negotiate. Or not. Ten seconds before their goal went in, I said to JK. “Please don't let them score and make us live through another half an hour of this.” It was a real “f*ck my life” moment. A kid who has never scored before, heads the ball without even facing the goal, and it somehow touches the post and bounces in, leaving Big Willy nowhere. JK and I stomped inside for coffee to steel ourselves for another half hour of this nightmare fixture that would not end.
At this point enter the referee, stage left. Refwatch: This man, having been pretty anonymous all night, rapidly began to accelerate towards the distinction of being a massive spunkmuppet in extra time. He looked like Kryten from Red Dwarf, with his alarming square head and lack of facial expressions, but moved slower than his mechanoid counterpart. Apparently Graham Scott has been on the select list of referees since he replaced Chris Foy in 2015. The fact that nobody could remember him or knew who the f*ck he was should tell you everything about how much PGMOL value him in this capacity. His booking of Willian was ludicrous. Even if you didn’t think it was a penalty, which would not be a criminal assessment, surely the bellend on the other end of VAR is pointing out to thim that the footage is not really conclusive, that you can’t rule out contact and that in the harshest possible assessment, Willian's fallen over whilst trying to avoid a leg that's been stuck out in front of him? But then, does it matter when the pratt has already started waving his cards around before even consulting it? Then it looked like he went back and consulted the chimp they must have installed at the console after all? Who knows, because the only indication we get of anything taking place is Kryten standing there with his finger stuck in his ear. For all we know he’s got Magic FM piped into it. And then because he’s already made his mind up we’re down to a choice of whether he wants to overule HIMSELF aren’t we? Not likely is it? Jesus wept. No, he didn’t just weep. He put on a mixtape of Lionel Richie ballads, stuffed his face with chocolate and sobbed into his pillow.
Conte brought on Hazard for Drinkwater. If we didn’t win this now we would actually be morons. In the first ten minutes of extra time we had looked more potent, but not really like scoring. With the introduction of Eden we really did look the better side now, and were only prevented from taking the lead on 13 minutes when the Norwich keeper made a fine reaction save from a Willian shot. B*llocks. I was joking when I said we’d end up flipping a coin for this, but it was starting to look like a distinct possibility. Morata missed another sitter, and it was just frantic. Luiz and Zappacosta were completely hanging out of their a*ses by this point. And yet every time we propelled ourselves forward, it seemed the latter ended up on the ball. Then he either gave it away or played the wrong pass.
“Zappacosta makes bad choices” said JK.
“Yes,” I replied, “like turning up for work.”
Another half chance passed Alvaro by, at which point Norwich began the age old ploy of pretending to have cramp. There was some semblance of a penalty shout, but by this point Kryten needed recharging. He was as wasted as some of the players and not even up with play. Norwich made their last sub, who walked off so slowly that he made Kolo Toure look like a whippet. He even celebrated how long he took with his mates on the bench. But have no fear Norwich. Kryten is going to try and get you over the line. Firstly, he sent Pesto off. I’d have been less p*ssed off had I not watched him blithely ignore several similar, cynical fouls on our players before he produced a second yellow. But he hadn’t even started yet. What is the point in VAR, if you are going to book a player TWICE without even calling on it. The monumental cockwomble didn't feel the need to even consult a wealth of technology and a person specifically installed for his scenario when Morata went down in the box. I’ve seen those penalties given, I’ve seen them not, but it certainly didn’t constitute a f*cking dive. And what moron with an ounce of common sense produces a first yellow without consulting VAR and then a f*cking second because the player is understandably p*ssed off about it? I watched Andre Marriner, who is a grade A f*ckwit himself, just turn away looking bemused. If Andre Marriner is judging your professional standards, just dig a hole in the pitch and climb in it.
Down to nine men. Absolute farce. But then something happened in the stadium. Because we Chelsea fans like nothing more than a bit of siege mentality and a good row. With penalties on the cards, you’d have thought it was a Champions League semi-final now. Whilst the bananas went into a huddle to plan their spot kick strategy, Conte spent nearly five minutes screaming at Marriner. This is how bad the referee was in the latter stages of this game. Antonio Conte saw Marriner as the voice of reason. Presumably having exhausted every swearword in the Italian language, he retreated to gee up his players. At least the shootout was going to take place in front of the Matthew Harding. At least Morata can't take one and inevitably miss, giving the Red Swarm hours of amusement.
Little Willy: Hit it like a boss.
Banana #1 Saved. Get in Big Willy. I could have licked his bald head at this point.
Luiz: Only his second decent touch of the night, but I’ll take it.
Banana #2: Sent Caballero the wrong way. Booo.
Dave: Smashed it. No chance for the keeper
Banana #3: In again. W*nker
Kante: Oh God, we said, he hits everything high! Why did we doubt him? Get in the twins.
Banana #4: Strode up with a bit of swagger. High and in. Git
It was all down to Eden, and of course he didn’t fail us.
Thank f*ck that’s over.
So: My footballing life has become like a country and western song. First Norwich game was like I lost my job. Arsenal was like someone came and repossessed my car. Leicester was like my boyfriend left me and tonight? Tonight it was like someone ran over my dog. Somehow we floundered our way past the post, I know not how based on that performance. And my Virtual A*sehole Rage is now off the scale, because its been brought in and managed with a level of competence that makes Brexit look like a f*cking cakewalk, and I fail to believe that select referees, the people running it and the clubs didn’t sit down and SPEAK TO EACH OTHER before the decided to f*ck with the beautiful game.
*Picture of a flying big Willy comes from Chelsea's official site
Chelsea 0 Leicester City 0
Saturday 13th January 2018 15:00
When your best mate is so excited about making it into the ground for kick off that he almost punches David Luiz's mum in the face...
Mama Luiz just laughed at him, but he might as well have stayed in the pub.
In the News: Chequebook Pulis says that his row with Conte is now over because he intends to show him contempt. What has he been showing him up till now? Affection?
My Virtual A*sehole Rage continues. I agree with Conte re the lack of sufficient injury time. If it has to be ten minutes, it has to be ten minutes. I agree with Whinger too. This has never happened before. He says it looks f*cking bizarre and is nonsensical at the stadium to sit and watch the referee talking to himself with his finger in his ear while nobody present knows what's going on. OK, kinks will be ironed out, but fundamentally this VAR sh*t is the straw that broke the camels back in terms of treating the TV audience better than the people that have actually paid the money and made the effort to go and see the game. W*nk. Goal line technology is enough. The rest can f*ck off. Unless someone has got a time machine and we are going to go back to 2009 and use it against Farcelona when we were well and truly robbed because UEFA didn't want another Chelsea/United CL Final.
"Every time Morata goes down it is a f*cking free kick" ranted Whinger apparently, when he stupidly sat with the press on Wednesday night. If that doesn't prove to you that his judgement is impaired I don't know what will. Because Morata spends half his life on the floor and doesn't get given sh*t.
As for the one bloke stopping the new stadium going ahead because he doesn't think he'll get a satisfactory amount of sunlight if we build it, I vote we get a wrecking ball to accidentally give him a new f*cking skylight as we start work. That will shut him up.
Transfer B*llocks: Conte says he'll still be here unless he's sacked. In other words, I don't plan to go anywhere. Red Swarm headline? "Conte unsure about his future." Sigh. But with a manager as consistently and publicly erratic about his employment status we'd be negligent if we were not having a casual look about for possible replacement managers. Allegri is being touted, as is Enrique. Carlo is not. I'm reserving comment until I talk to Blue Squirrel.
In the true spirit of reporting everything at once and then claiming you are right when one thing pans out, the Red Swarm are claiming that Hazard is about to sign. Because he told a complete stranger so at a basketball game. Well that's that then. Morons. West Ham are looking to offload Hernandez for £17m. More fool them, when you look at the rest of their squad. Should we go for him? Is he a better alternative than Michy? This would make me want to repeatedly headbutt a claw hammer less than the prospect of buying Andy Carroll.
Sp*rs are doubling Harry F*cking Kane's and the Diving Little Sh*t's wages to £100k a week in an effort to keep them. Big deal. That's like someone offering me a bag of Maltesers to write a book when someone else is offering me a Bugatti Chiron. Chequebook Pulis is trying to hijack another deal. This is a stellar scouting setup they've got at United under him. Wait for the opposition to all but sign someone then steal him. Still, it's not like they didn't do us a favour by stealing Lukaku. And Neymar now wants to go to Madrid, after a couple of months at Paris, for a staggering £357m. Which means he's roughly six months slower than anyone else, who realised as soon as he had signed for PSG that going to Ligue 1 was a bad idea. Speaking of Real, they lost again. Another point for us in the battle to keep Hazard, for now at least.
The Others: Will probably look a lot less incompetent than us by the end of the weekend. Except Arsenal.
Us: Still no Willian or Pesto. (F*ck off autospell) I was gutted. Why are we not grabbing this by the scruff of the neck? How can those two be tired when Conte benches them all of the time? To me it's like we're setting out in every game not to lose. Which doesn't automatically mean we are setting out to win.
I'm debating whether or not to call him Italian Pulis until he changes this unimaginative set up and reemploys his testicles.
Them: Vardy is fit. Joy. We can watch Albert Steptoe's lovechild try and con the referee for ninety minutes.
I feared for us today after two toothless displays, but I'm a glass half empty kind of person. With good reason, it turns out. We almost found a way through after one minute but couldn't get a decent shot off. Then it was Leicester doing the pressing, coming close two or three times. An outstanding break by Hazard, who held the all up all the way into the box on his own to lay it off for a Moses cross, looked promising, but no cigar. Then we were lucky not to be behind after a save from a Courtois on 11 minutes. So far we had been rather ponderous on the ball, and had already conceded possession sloppily with balls almost as ill-judged as Mahrez's platinum blond nightmare hair. They looked capable of carving through our defence, though whenever we broke we looked threatening too. That is until the last ball happened and there weren't enough people in the box. Ever.
Dare I say we looked more like the away side, waiting to sting them on the break and stay in it whilst they built up a well organised head of steam. We'd been more productive for what we had of the ball. But 40% of the possession in the first 20 minutes at home against a competent but not shiny Leicester side is pretty woeful. They hadn't undone us once when we were heading towards the goal, we'd done it ourselves. Which was really f*cking annoying. If the play wasn't entertaining, the joint shouts of "Who came third in a two horse race, T*ttenham f*cking H*tspur" were for a little while at least. Then the away fans started singing "Just like the library." As if they've set foot in one. Do they have libraries that far north? Who knew.
26 minutes in and the whole of the Shed Upper had surmised that this was all wrong. It was like a nappy sh*tting equivalent of the last night at the proms behind me. The only time we looked remotely like doing anything was when Hazard is running at them. And he can't pass the ball on to himself. 30 minutes and Cahill was down. Off he went for Christensen. I won't repeat some of the bullsh*t I heard celebrating a Chelsea player going off injured. W*nkers. Or some of the crap begging the referee to send Bakayoko off today. I will repeat this though: "What game are you watching Conte, this one or your f*cking mum's game?" Because it gives you an indication of the level of nonsense intellect you're dealing with with some of these so-called fans.
At the restart we suddenly got out of first gear. For about fifteen seconds. We'd been screaming at Cesc to shoot and he finally did on 41. Tipped over. We were in again on 42 but Moses got sidetracked doing step-overs and forgot to pass the ball. Then he lost it. We did at least appear to have recovered the art of passing the ball to people in a blue shirt. Sort of. On half and hour I would have said that Conte needed to make half time changes or else. I was 100% certain that he wouldn't. After we picked it up just before the break, I felt he at least needed to go into the dressing room and kick them severely up the a*se.
We've quite possibly broken another striker. Morata going down for a free kick on 45 minutes was his biggest contribution so far. We achieved nothing from it. By 48 minutes we were no better than during the majority of the first half. It wasn't just the nappy sh*tters getting angry now; there was a loud chorus of Willian's song in the Shed by way of a not subtle hint for our manager. Willy was standing on the sideline mesmerised in between stretches by how bad we were at this point.
Mahrez had a deflected shot that almost put them ahead, before Conte finally made a double substitution. Willian and Pesto on for Fabregas and Hazard. Lo and behold, change of formation and we suddenly looked like a football team. All this forward motion, Willian like a little Duracell bunny possessed, players fighting for every ball. (Though still to the tune of nappy sh*tters declaring that he is a pile of sh*t) We even got in their box! HALLE-F*CKING-LUJAH. Now just to fashion a shot on target in the next half an hour.
Refwatch: Better the devil you can see than the one sitting thirty miles away watching it on TV and sticking their oar in. Right? Mike Jones - so ask me again after the one massive brain fart he always has had occurred and I see if it goes our way. He does have the distinction of possible being the most attractive referee. But it's a low bar. As in, almost touching the floor. Good opening booking, often don't see those given but the foul on Kante was cynical enough to warrant it. I despise this hacking down of players on the break and think it should be a mandatory yellow. Jones put in a block for us just after half time too. The brain fart came on 55, when Mahrez went down in the box and he didn't award Leicester a penalty. Thanks Mike, we need all the help we can get. Because in real time right in front of me that looked like it probably was a valid claim. Then on 67 was there another? From miles away it looked like Moses and Chillwell got to the ball at the same time. I'm too bereft to watch it back. I've suffered enough. A red card was actually the worst thing that could have happened.l as far as our bid to win it went. Because now Leicester would largely stop coming out and just hold on for the draw.
For the first time all afternoon we were having the larger share of possession. On 71 minutes Kante fired it at Schmeichel, who spilled the ball but managed to grab it again. Git. With Leicester determined to hold on for a well deserved point, it just felt like too little, too late as the minutes ticked by. They were not out of it by any means and playing the time wasting game when they could. We look so like Arsenal sometimes I could cry. For the love of god stop fannying about with it and have a shot.
On 77 Bakayoko found the ball dropping to him, and he hit it calmly but it was always rising. The one he had a minute later was not so much something to write home about. In fact it was hilarious. (Cue more effluence behind me) At least he's in the right place at the right time, even if he can't hit a barn door. Corner. 83 minutes. This was going to be our moment. Till we played it short. Has Morata even had a shot on target since he announced his wife was pregnant? This is a genuine question. I sense a conspiracy.
Four paltry minutes of added time. A free kick on the edge of the box and it was sh*t or bust. Willian and Alonso hovering. Nope. Pinball in the box. One last shot. Almost hit the corner flag. Even with Mike Jones on our side we could have continued playing till next Saturday and still not scored a f*cking goal. 0-0 and Leicester fans celebrating like they've won. Idiots. What a load of b*llocks.
So: West f*cking Ham managed to score four goals today. And they are the league's resident morons. We have never before had three 0-0 draws in a row. However this is not necessarily an unexpected outcome when you only play half an hour of football. Never have we kept three clean sheets in a row and been so depressed. We set up like we were afraid of Leicester, which was annoying, but after 14 games in 46 days most of the players just look wasted. There was a moment today when the prospect of Andy Carroll almost started to look enticing. Almost. Conte says the system didn't make a difference. I disagree. He isn't doing his team any favours. What must Hazard think when he's left isolated by a sh*t layout and unable to do what he is good at because he hasn't got the right people around him? What must Willian and Pesto think when they sit there for sixty minutes watching a game crying out for one/both of them? At least two of these three need to start. Especially at home. Otherwise we are idiots. We’ve predicted a 0-0 penalty shoot out against Norwich and the referee then eventually just flipping a f*cking coin for it just so everyone gets to go home. And I'm going to leave you with this thought: At this point we have about 38 days until we have to play United and City, and Uefalona in the space of eleven days.
But that said, it’s not like we’ve lost, however tedious our viewing fare has been this week. Two of these draws were against another Champions League contender and a Leicester side that played well. Let’s not lose the plot. Some of the behavour from people who claim to support the club is getting unpalatable for the rest of us, considering we haven’t yet been eliminated from any competition and aren’t exactly slumming it. Yes, you’ve paid to be there too and you may be entitled to your opinion, but if that opinion is to abuse everyone in a Chelsea shirt, hand the ticket over to someone who will gladly reimburse you and turn up to support the team. There is a rumour that Courtois was hit after the game in leaving the ground. He was not. But I'd argue that laying a hand on any player no matter what cause you think you have is not acceptable. I need more gin, and players, manager and fans alike need to get a grip, get their sh*t together after this week and get ready for Norwich.
*Photo of Thibaut saving our a*se again comes from Chelsea's official website
Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0
1st Leg Semi-Final Carabao Cup
Wednesday 10th January 2018
In the News: Everything is about racism so far this week. Oh dear Peter Beardsley. Oh. Dear. The Newcastle youth coach appears to be Britain's socially inept equivalent of Donald Trump. He's suspended, having allegedly told black players at a climbing adventure park called "Go Ape" that they could do better with the words "your lot should be good at this." What an unmitigated dick. Firminho could be in hot water too for an alleged racist slur against Mason Holgate. I recognised one word that came out of his mouth. It wasn't racist but it wasn't nice either. What are the papers more interested in? The fact that the hairdo fell over some advertising boards in the same game. He wasn't hurt, they say. But he could have been. But. As an ethnic minority, this idea about having to interview a minority candidate for the England job makes me squirm. The concept of a qualified manager missing out on his interview because they are fulfilling a quota to make themselves look diverse makes me every bit as angry as the concept of a black manager not getting an interview because of his ethnicity. I ended up as the only non-white person speaking at a history festival last year and the idea that I was only there because of the colour of my skin and not because of my ability was every bit as insulting to me as someone being racist towards me would have been. Robbie Di Matteo answered a question on this perfectly a few years back when he said, just hire the best person for the job. And obviously, don't ask Peter Beardsley or Firminho to be on the interview panel.
Apparently when Whinger is finally committed to an asylum, the Goons have fingered Ancelotti as his potential replacement. Lord no. Carlo is far too unsanctimonious and unsmug to end up there. But I can see the attraction for any manager. No axe dangling over your head. You can literally be sh*t at your job for ten years and not get fired. And Real Madrid f*cked up again. Why do we care? Because their swan dive, which almost has them closer to relegation than to the top of La Liga, and the fallout that may come with it could be the only thing that stops Hazard going there in the summer. So watch with glee and pray they get stuffed every week. And also pray that we don't get flattened by Uefalona and look decently ambitious in Europe ourselves.
Transfer B*llocks: Andreas Christensen has signed a new four and a half year deal. Huzzah. This is the best thing that will happen to us in this window. It also means that the Red Swarm are having to give us some credit for our youth system. They're dulling their pain with words like "rare" and “miraculous” to describe the inroads he has made. Not content with making himself look like a big tit the first time, the Mayor of Scouseland has carried out his threat re angry letters over Ross Barkley. It doesn't get any better than this. He has written to the police alleging fraud. Let's not forget which city he is the mayor of. And how much crime happens there. And this is the case, of fraud no less, that he chooses to have a b*tch baby fit over and on which to make a moral stand. Courtois and Hazard to Real rumours aren't going to go away, and with good reason in both cases. If you're one of those prone to ripping your hair out over such things and calling for the heads of everyone on the board when we don't get our own way, you'll do well to remember, in regard to one of these that sometimes there is no logic, and that it just isn't about football, and there is nothing your club can do to stop someone wanting to leave. I doesn't mean the club has failed. Sandro I think will happen in the summer and that the only real stalling point is Juve not wanting him to go before they've got a replacement, which they did not manage to find in August. Every time a transfer window opens, Pep resembles Granville (sitcom alias) when a new batch of Star Wars figures is released. This time his obsession is Sanchez. Because he doesn't have enough forwards already. Deal is done apparently, according to Kevin De Britney. (Nice one autospell) Don't listen to him, he lies. Particularly about being injured. The sale of Coutinho to Barcelona has apparently driven the price of Paulo Dybala up to £150m. Has it f*ck. I can only think of three clubs in Europe that might be that stupid. And two of them are in Manchester. But hilariously, as one Blue wit has pointed out, Coutinho may be the be the only player since 1990 to start a season playing for the Scouse and win a title. I don't care enough to check.
The Others: Arsenal are out of the FA Cup. They left Nottingham with the sound of "Champions of Europe, you'll never sing that" ringing in their ears. Apparently they gave back "Champions of Europe - You weren't even born,” to which Forest replied: "Champions of Europe - you won't be alive." Fun times. And Alex Iwobi is in trouble for being caught getting trashed the night before the game. I'd have to get sh*tfaced before going to work if Whinger was my boss too. Best headline on Monday? "Forest Thump."
Manchester United in p*ss easy fourth round draw shocker. Yeovil. Mind you, that's not so far from Bristol. There are literally no shiny ties in the next round. If we can surmount a replay against Norwich City without everyone dying of boredom then we'll have to play Newcastle, thankfully at home, else you would have seen BT rubbing their fat hands gleefully and setting us up for a 10am kick off practically in Scandinavia.
And so dawnethed the era of the assisted referee with the last of the FA Cup third round ties on Monday. And couldn't Andre Marriner just do with some help when it comes to doing his job properly? But I liked this not, waiting for him to chat away with someone else sitting near Heathrow Airport to see if a goal stood. He looked like he was doing it with all of them, which to me exceeds the principle of what it should be used for. It shouldn't be used to check if every decision is right, but when the official feels that he is unable to make a decision because he didn't see something or his view was blocked. Right? Or are we going to end up watching the ball hit the back of the net week in, week out and then have to wait every time for a conflab before we can start celebrating? That's going to be b*llocks. The Germans have trialled it more extensively this season, and apparently the fans hate it. And in the other Carabao Cup semi-final last night, Bristol City came close to walking away on level terms, and not against a team of City also-rans either. Fingers crossed they can pull something out of the bag in the second leg.
Us: Another game against Arse, and for me, missing another trick. I thought we could have gone more attacking.
Them: No Sanchez, no Ozil, some jobbers on the bench I've never heard of.
Well done Chelsea. Shed people displaced to other seats in the Shed so that the Goons can sit in our seats. What a pointless exercise. And we were right next to them. Joy. They are even more unpleasant up close. We hit the side netting in the opening two minutes, but other than that it was a pretty even start. Both teams looked perky but but if anyone looked like stringing something together it was us in the first five minutes, then they started to pull back into it a bit.
Oh but if I had had a machine gun and an endless supply of rubber bullets tonight. Their lot were so tedious it actually defied belief. Jesus wept - they were singing that our support is f*cking sh*t. Do they not know that the whole of the Premier Leagues' new favourite song is "Is this the Emirates?" Alonso found himself running in on goal on eleven minutes. Unfortunately it was with a Goon's arms around his throat, which was apparently legal. They were now attempting to sing "you're f*cking sh*t" at Morata, but after Lacazette managed to sky his only shot of the game that was worth anything over the bar by about thirty feet they couldn't even take themselves seriously. What can I say about the first twenty minutes that is positive? It didn't suck as much as Norwich. That's about it. Highlight so far: the chubby kid in the too-tight t-shirt filming himself singing “Chelsea rent boys” while we and all of his silent Goon brethren looked at him like he was a moron.
On 23 minutes a Moses shot was predictably spilled by Ospina, who makes Mignolet look like a world beater at times, but he managed to get his sh*t together and dive on it before anybody could follow up. Shortly afterwards Alonso played a stinging ball across the box, but Morata had just overrun it and it passed behind him. A minute later it was almost in at the near post, but L'Arse managed to scrabble it clear. This was about as entertaining as it got, and was followed by the faithful in the Matthew Harding Lower having to tell the Goons how you take a corner. Their best shot came on 38 when Courtois palmed away a shot from Mistakeland-Niles, who then embarrassed himself just like he did last week with a delayed flail onto the floor in the box. VAR eventually confirmed that yes, he definitely is a twat. No penalty.
The Goons next to us we're now singing, "Arsene Wenger, he's won more than you." Er, no. He hasn't. In his tenure he's won three league titles and seven FA Cups. In that time we've won 21 trophies. Including the European Cup. Dickheads. Even Basil Fawlty (Sitcom Alias) who usually just broods menacingly, was sparked into angry fury, thus earning this nickname, at some of the factually inaccurate drivel they were coming out with. Hazard was almost in on 42, but the ball just ran away from him. We ended the half at 0-0, the Goons immensely pleased with themselves and singing "You've bought it all” again and again, and again. Frenzied shouts of Bank of England Club!! Came from Basil. To say nothing of people reminding them how much money they've spunked on Ozil, Lacazette and Sanchez. Seems it takes a bit more than a shopping spree to win things. Shorta*se (this is Stretch's new alias) saved us all from despondency of another goalless, frustrating 45 minutes with a multipack of Twixes (or is it Twixi? What is the plural of a Twix?) but we were hopeful that things would pick up in the second half.
We had a corner in the opening seconds, followed by a mass of pinball in the box before it went out for another. Promising. Then we came close, Alonso flicking it on for Christensen who couldn't get over the ball and headed it high. Then we sank back towards painful mediocrity. All night long we conceded a frustrating amount of possession with sloppy balls. The margins were tight, as we all knew they would be, and we just weren't quite sharp enough. In the instance you don't want to see complicated flicks and back heels. Just keep it simple, as Mrs Brown (sitcom alias) screamed in despair.
Five minutes after the restart I was complaining that I wanted Tenacious Double D off and Willian on, but was distracted from my bitching for a few minutes by the hilarity of Wilshere injuring himself again. Must be a day that ends in a Y. As he toddled off the Shed Upper was singing “You’ve had your day out, now f*ck off home.” What would they do without magical Captain Jack? What would we do if we could string five passes together? There were half chances, mostly long range, interrupted by Ospina moving as slowly as a stoned koala every time he had to take a goal kick. They had the odd one too, but nothing earth shattering. On the hour mark Welbeck was so excited about a ball coming in towards him that he forgot to jump to try and win it. We’ve got no class, according to the sanctimonious red knobs that were stood on my left. There were some enquiries about whether or not they had seen their own fan channel lately, followed by a mini chorus of “Fam, Fam, Bruv, Bruv” to the tune of Big Ben.
As far as we were concerned, this was just panning out like a duller version of the league game: us, more specifically Antonio, failing to puzzle a way around one of the dopiest Arsenal sides in years and his players not doing him a whole load of favours, with too many having an off night. Sanchez came on for Lacazette. Willian came on for TDD on 67, I like to think because Conte listens to me, and straight away we were rampaging forward; but Eden managed to outfox himself and failed to get a shot off. Sh*t club no history, apparently. Sh*t club, no future was the response from us. One of our best chances came on 74 minutes with a low shot from Willian but it was pounced on by Ospina. Another came in from Alonso shortly afterwards. In between this they were coming forward too, but thankfully every chance they had dropped to Welbeck or relied on his competency as a footballer to get near the goal. How any fan can sing about Morata being sh*t when they’ve got this bellend up front is beyond me. As is how Xhaka was still on the pitch after his usual bumbling display of f*ckwittery and crashing into people.
Iwobi, presumably pissed, had perhaps their best chance of the night. They were in, no question, him striding towards the goal accompanied by Sanchez and Welbeck. But then he inexplicably just passed the ball to Courtois. I have literally no idea why Antonio decided to take Hazard off for Bakayoko on 83 minutes. Yes, let’s cling on to this invaluable 0-0. Here we are again, deeper than f*cking Atlantis and inviting Arsenal on with five minutes to go. Morata went off for Michy, because I think we were just making substitutions for the sake of it now. I couldn’t really see the penalty shout from the other end but my brother was livid and there was a stream of obscene consciousness flowing into my phone via WhatsApp. One thing is clear, because we all stood around not knowing what the f*ck was going on while VAR intervened. You’ve got to communicate with the fans in the stadium, in the same way that hawkeye comes up on the screen in tennis. Otherwise the people that have paid to watch the game haven’t got a clue what is going on. And that is bullsh*t. Which brings me to Refwatch: Atkinson is becoming my favourite referee, if you can admit to having such a thing. But VAR is wank. And Neil Swarbrick is clearly hated by his colleagues because they’re taking every opportunity to lock him in a room away from them. I’ve decided I hate it and nobody is going to convince me otherwise. Until we benefit from it, then I will inevitably deny that I ever wrote this.
So: That was marginally less shit than Norwich. And I mean marginally. We're still in it. But in the last five days I’ve spent £60 on tickets alone to watch us to score no goals and to be about as entertaining as an alcohol-free night of charades with Michael Owen. This must be what it feels like to support a team managed by Real Pulis. If we play like this in February when the Champions League picks up again, there is a fair chance that we are going to be annihilated.
*Photo of surprised Christensen comes from Chelsea's official site.
Norwich City 0 Chelsea 0
Saturday 6th January 2018 17:30
Fozzie Bear (muppet alias) has been going to Chelsea for nearly 60 years, so he's suffered everything the Blues can throw at him. And more. Fozzie Bear never gets irate, but he's actually demanding his ticket for the replay free of charge after this sh*tfest.
In the News: Everyone's favourite non-drama queen has kicked on to a whole new level now. This is far more interesting than the game I've just witnessed, so I will lay it out for you: He's two clicks away from smearing himself in his own faeces and emerging from the Old Trafford tunnel clad in a United branded Borat mankini and a Fellaini ginger Afro wig.
He was called out as to his demeanour on the touchline, which is sadder than Eeyore with a hangover. Thus began Clowngate/Dementiagate. I had a clown at my birthday party once. I was five. But I feel great empathy with them and Chequebook Pulis's mockery of the profession has deeply offended me. I think the FA should sentence him to three matches of mandatory wearing of a red squeaky nose on the touchline.
Conte, despite the best attempts of Chelsea's lovely PR man Steve trying to shut him down, came back and said CP was suffering from dementia, as in couldn't remember knee sliding at Old Trafford when he didn't manage them and otherwise bouncing up and down like a lunatic on many, many occasions. The Daily Fail called this an attack on CP. "Attack" implies menace. Conte was semi-reclining in his chair and taking the p*ss out of him, the latter part of which the Red Swarm scamps do themselves on a daily basis. The look would have been completed had he had a cravat, a smoking jacket and a cigarette holder, and a villainous looking cat on his lap. So give over.
Then CP turned spiteful with a reference to an accusation that our boss was exonerated of, and Conte is ready to take it outside. Well that is what he's said in a long-winded, English-isn't-my-first-language-kind of way. I see Russell Crowe pep-talking his Roman legions at the beginning of Gladiator. "I'm ready to fight for me," he says, "for my players, for the club, with everyone. I have no problem." CP is the pissy, moany emperor with the pouty bottom lip who's going to get his arse kicked in the Colosseum at the end. Talks a lot, but he never got his hands (or, feet) dirty on a football pitch, did he? Thumbs down for him. Or up - because nobody actually knows which way around it went. Either way, end him Antonio.
On the subject of a possible diminishment of mental faculties of some description. Wenger just can't shut up. Just stop talking. Has nobody in the land of the Goon got a tranquilliser dart handy? Even though he is already sitting on a three game touchline ban and a £40k fine he just keeps rambling on. He's lost the plot. He thinks he's making a moral stand. I've been watching The Handmaid's Tale and I almost want to go out and buy him a floaty red cape and a little white bonnet so he can start attempting an uprising. But he's Janine, in case you were wondering. The bonkers one. He’s not making it to Canada.
AVB has had a pop about the "lack of support" he received from Chelsea before we fired him. It was all us. Right. Let's not forget where his amazing potential has taken him since. The Chinese league. And worse. Sp*rs. And now he's quit to race cars. Desist, furry little ginger-bearded ferret man. And the Daily Fail's three wise men are at it again. Keown believes that Wilshere is as good as Sanchez. At what? Moaning? Diving? Making friends? This w*nkfest over a player that has been a chronic disappointment and, whose achievement thus far to warrant it is merely going five minutes without injuring himself or getting caught with a bong in his hand, has gone from funny to just ridiculous now. He puts not being broken down to his new gluten free diet. Nothing to do with giving up the booze, fags and weed then?
The Annals of Diego: I couldn't pass this up. One game midweek against a pub side: scores early, injures himself celebrating then gets into a fight. Today? Booked, scored, booked again, off. I almost miss him.
Transfer B*llocks: Ross Barkley is now a Chelsea player. He was cheap. That's good. It's made Scousers angry. That is also good. According to the Chelsea website he can play in numerous positions - out wide, behind the striker, deeper in midfield. They neglected to mention that this is when he is fit. Fingers crossed for him. And obviously he's under a proper medical team now instead of one that presumably stocks itself by robbing the medicine aisle in Lidl, so there's every reason to hope that this turns out to be a bargain and everyone wins. A contingent of Evertonians went into complete meltdown when we completed the signing. They appear to be mystified as to why he's had enough. Perhaps the kid just didn't fancy playing as one of 10 central defenders under Allardyce, for starters. The Mayor of Scouseland got involved. Apparently he's going to write a strongly worded letter to the authorities. Looking at him, any form of literacy would be an achievement and also, if he's worked his way up to Mayor I'm assuming he's seen a wide ranging pile of evidence as to why someone might want to leave the place without skulduggery having to be employed. I'll never forget walking past betting shops before away games up there. Odds on "Barcaloner" were very tempting. As was the advert for a Europa League game against a club beginning with U. Which they couldn't spell. So had just used an old tag that said "Ucrane." Close enough I suppose.
Conte is as baffled as the rest is of the planet by the tragic suggestion that we might have made an enquiry about Andy Carroll. He also apparently says that he doesn't get the players he asks for. While I am amused by the idea of a duel with Chequebook Pulis, this public moaning at the board has him beginning to resemble one of those people who post angst-ridden cryptic Facebook statuses in order to try and attract the attention of someone specific who has pissed them off. Nobody likes that sh*t. Just knock on the door or pick up the phone and have a conversation with them, we don't want to be involved. And Watford are ready to sell their £20,000,000 rated captain... Yes. That's right. They mean Troy Deeney. They're either talking about old style lira or someone has fallen asleep on the "0" whilst writing that up.
The Others: It all started with a Scouse Derby last night. Fat Sam was promising that his team were going to have a go. He must have called in a consultant coach who specialises in venturing out of your own half to get them ready then. Watching Mason Holgate and Firminho hissing at each other was brilliant. I'll remind you that both these sets of fans call us rent boys. And yet that was the silliest, campest little b*tch fight I've ever seen. Still, hypocrisy was ever a virtue up there. And Keown's obsession with Van Dijk as a specimen of manhood went from acceptable, to cringeworthy, to flat out disturbing by the end of the game. My highlight? I love it when depressed Ringo Starr has to announce an away goal over the tannoy there. He sounds like he's dying inside.
Elsewhere Leicester need a replay against Fleetwood, so Vardy gets a second chance to be fit enough to dive against his old team. City came from behind to put out Burnley, and Hughes finally got sacked after Coventry beat Stoke. The Stoke board decided that whilst another person might not want the job, as per his claim, they can probably find a trained chimp who will do better.
Our Game: From my longest match reviews to my shortest:
That. Was. Sh*t.
Ok, ok. I'll try harder.
I travelled up to a place where no motorway goes and where no coherent mobile phone signal exists. As for 4G. You'd have a better chance on Mars. To be honest, the game had a lot to live up to from the outset, given the excitement on the way up when one of the fan coaches decided to headbutt a pheasant and trash its own windscreen.
Them: If you offered me five minutes in a dark cupboard with Tenacious Double D, I still couldn't pick any of their players out of a lineup of random blokes all similarly dressed up as bananas.
Us: Nine changes in all including the emergence of the Lesser-Spotted-Kenedy, and the Even-Lesser-Spotted-Luiz, but don't get your hopes up about that last one. From what I hear the club isn't big enough for both he and Conte.
Bright start home team. Nothing of note really happened in the opening ten minutes, save for a quite sad cross-cum-shot from Kenedy. (If your mind goes there, I am not responsible) I should say now, until it gets to the final ten minutes, when I say "shot," don't be getting any shiny ideas, "half-a*sed kick vaguely in the direction of the goal" would generally be more accurate.
The play took ages to get going, thanks to a lengthy injury break for one of the bananas. For the duration of the first half, there did not appear to be a coherent plan. To be expected, I suppose, that fluency would be lacking with so many changes, but no dynamism or real prolonged intent either. On 24 minutes Willian, who looked to be the only forward really threatening to set this game off, diddled them completely and played in Pesto (yawn, autospell) but he was (legally) dumped on his a*se and the opportunity vanished.
New song. Terrible song. Still more entertaining than the game:
We've got Ross Barkley
We've got Ross Barkley
He left the f*cking Scouse
Because they robbed his house
We look like the Championship side. We had ranged from distinctly average, to messy, to woefully incapable of passing to each other. Despite this I thought the "oles" every time Bakayoko passed to another Chelsea player were a f*cking disgrace. Luckily Norwich were dogsh*t in the box. On 34 they could have been ahead but the shot went out for a throw in, which says it all. Luiz had got himself booked, and his body language was frustrated and sulky. Kenedy was particularly sloppy, Michy was isolated, and needs to be told that generally your feet need to leave the ground if you want to win the ball in the air. No shots on target at either end, colder than a witches tit and what do we get at half time? Ed f*cking Sheeran. This can't get any worse.
We emerged from the dressing room in slightly better shape and a header back across the goal from Zappacosta looked promising. Michy was a man in a mission. On 49 he had our first shot on target. By that I mean that as it rolled slowly into the six yard box the goalkeeper was required to bend down and pick it up. His spell of joy didn't last more than five minutes. Sarcastic Granville text: "Magic of the cup etc!!” There were slightly threatening attempts from Bakayoko, who no doubt will take the brunt of the flak following this performance. Another came from Tenacious Double D. Then one went a little closer from Willian. Could it be we're making inroads here? Nope. He slipped past them again on 57, but his shot went into the arms of the keeper.
Refwatch: Stuart Attwell. I know, who? He wasn't bad, but he had a jaunty way of running that annoyed me. He looked far too pleased with life for a football referee. Started to lose the plot a bit at the hour mark but mostly gave me hope that there may be someone, somewhere who can be trained up to oust some of the fools we have to put up with at the moment. Musonda and Morata were having a good runabout. Sooner rather than later please. Not enough spark on the pitch. Pesto, not his best game and Willian can't do it all in his own. We needed two of him to make a dent in this crapfest.
Narrow escape on 68. Goal was wide open for them but they almost hit the corner flag. We were ten minutes past the point where we should have made changes if we were serious about the result of this game, and I'm not sure we were. I think Antonio has laid out who is playing against Arsenal. Then he's rested as many of them as he could and put out what is left. If it wins, great, if not, I won't say he didn't care if we lost but it didn't look like he was desperate to win either. On 70 minutes Michy lost the ball embarrassingly and Conte's reaction was to summon Morata back to the bench. Game over Batman.
With the possibility of money from a replay and presumably a temporary escape from Norfolk, Norwich were slow-walking, if not time-wasting outrageously. It took forever to get the ball back out of the crowd too, although this might have been the fact that all the locals have webbed hands and couldn't retrieve it. Morata and Musonda came on for Michy and Pesto with little time to make a difference. Let that not dissuade a fervent nappy sh*tter - and they were everywhere today - because they just went straight for the jugular with our striker. Tedious f*ckers. Cahill got vile abuse too, largely from a large gobsh*te near us. Rage.
The game was rounded off with some slightly more convincing, though not heart-stopping attempts on goal. Another long range one from TDD was claimed by the keeper on 81 and in the dying seconds Zappacosta thumped one slightly wide. One glimmer of joy? An appearance for Dujon Sterling. A whole four minutes. But in that time though he maintained possession, won a corner and robbed them of the ball, which is the same, if not more than some did in over an hour.
So: I bet they're glad the televised that. Dud performance from the team and from some of the fans. What is the point in going to a sh*thole like Norwich to sling constant, heavy duty abuse at our own players? Do the rest of us a favour and stay at home. Some observations:
Luiz - Admittedly rusty, but ignoring the underlying drama that is keeping him out of the side, did nothing at all to convince Conte that he is a better option than any other centre back today.
Cahill - Nowhere near bad enough to warrant repeatedly being called a c*nt by our own fans.
TDD - Another blameless one. He must be irritating as hell to play against because he's always niggling the opposition, hence the nickname. I made a comment to Janice (muppet alias) about him getting in between people's legs and we giggled like schoolgirls for at least a minute.
Little Willie - not one of his vintage performances but shrugged them off all afternoon. If anything was going to happen it was going to come from him.
Big Willy - I think we’ve hit gold there in terms of a backup goalkeeper.
Batshuayi - Michy does not work a lone man up front. Kind of like when we put Torres up there and pretended he was St. Didier of Munich. The only times Michy won the ball in the air were in our own box. He is not Morata. Yes, he’s failing to perform, but I don't think he's necessarily being put in a position that would get anything like the best out of him either.
Another week, another face-off with L'Arse. Minus Whinger who will be in a padded cell somewhere. Yes, it is the lowest of our priorities on paper, but when we're two games from Wembley we'd be morons not to take is seriously. Hands up who remembers Swansea!
*Picture of Antonio going looking for CP comes from Chelsea's official website
L'Arse 2 Chelsea 2
Wednesday 3rd January 2018 19:45
In my defence, my word count would have been acceptable if not for Anthony Taylor.
In the News: Thank God, someone has sent Conte to a relaxation guru. Before his head explodes. We will all benefit from this.
Did I not predict carnage with VAR? I pointed out that this essentially means that two dickheads will be in charge of every game instead of one. Case in point, Brighton and Palace will have to contend with Marriner on the pitch and Swarbrick at the monitor in their FA Cup tie. The world will literally end the day that we get the dreaded combo of Taylor and Madley. Or Taylor and Moss, or Taylor and Pawson. I need to go and lie down.
Is there anything more amusing than listening to Arsene Whinger and his existential moan-waffling (this is now a word - only applicable to him) about referees? Obviously it would be completely f*cking priceless if the old duffer actually got sanctioned every time he does it in the same way that everyone else does. But then I haven't yet been sanctioned by the FA for my comments on referees either, and I've gone to town on Slaphead Taylor tonight so I won't say any more.
Chequebook Pulis is still bleating about not being given enough money like a shameless gold digger draped in Versace. He would have you believe that his players were cobbled together on the cheap by him and Rui Faria out of budget pipe cleaners, cotton wool balls and that horrible fishy smelling copydex glue they gave you at primary school. Do you remember the "Mo*rinho Scale" from last season? I used it to gauge Antonio's mental state in press conferences when he first took over. The premise is that the more dishevelled and hobo like a manager becomes, the more he starts gibbering away like a possessed chimp, the more he is on the slide out of his job. Antonio spent much of last season at Defcon 1, which for the purposes of my assessment is safe and normal. We obviously all expect CP to go batsh*t crazy and end up at Defcon 5 in his third season, it's what he is does, but the fact that he already looks like Wurzel Gummidge halfway through the second after he's had £286.3m spent on him and that he can barely string a coherent sentence together is a level of hilarity I never thought possible. I'll say it again. He will never be able to outrun his own personality.
Paranoia must be catching. Steve Parish thinks that there is an agenda against Zaha in the world of football. Oh Steve. Nobody cares enough. And Mark Hughes made a very good point (I know, I had to pick myself up off the floor too) when questioned about why he still has his job at Sterk. Who else is going to want to do it? And speaking of morons, if Jake Livermore is sanctioned in any way after a West Ham fan baited him by mocking his dead baby son then the FA are as disgraceful as Flanagan's brief.
Transfer B*llocks: Real Madrid have apparently "abandoned" their pursuit of Hazard, the pursuit that hadn't actually really happened anyway. Good. F*ck off. Apparently this is to give Acensio a bigger role. If this is true, (doubtful) it would indicate that someone at Real had been smoking something particularly pungent over the festive break. Isco is joining us though. This is irrefutable, based on the sound logic that a Spanish person, who catches up with a Spanish person who works for Chelsea while in London is obviously moving here. But who really knows? Because apparently the whole transfer policy for Los Blancos is in the hands of Ronaldo, who doesn't want them to buy anyone that might put him out of the team (he needs to keep his bonuses up if he wants to carry on buying babies at an alarming rate) and has included demands such as two new world class goalkeepers. I sh*t you not. He has handed in a list.
And ah, the red Scouse. The biggest hypocrites in football. Apparently they are going to take Nike to court after they jumped the gun and started trying to flog Farca shirts with Coutinho's name on them. This is, as one Blue has pointed out on Twitter, after Klopp met Van Dijk in a hotel, and the Scouse found him a house (presumably nicked) and gave him a squad number while he was employed by someone else. As it was pointed out, ashamed of nothing, offended by everything.
The Others: Another day that ends in a y, another Sp*rs w*nker that should have been sent off and wasn't, but St. Pep's bubble has burst just a little bit. They failed to beat Palace on NYE. And they picked up injuries. De Britney (classic gaff by auto spell for de Bruyne, and I refuse to call him anything else henceforth) was supposed to one of the crocked, but has made a miracle recovery. Booooo. In the meantime the overrated sanctimonious bald twat says we are "killing" players by expecting them to work three days a week over Christmas. Get a grip you bellend. Or move back to Spain. Lukaku was stretchered off against Everton with a head injury. I can joke about it, because he's going to be fine. My guess is that his brain just imploded having to listen to all the bullsh*t that comes out of his manager's mouth. CP gave Pogba credit for "waking up" against the Toffees. Well that's nice. Presumably that eighteen month nap has done him good.
Them: Ozil was fit, boo, but not Kolosinac or whatever he's called or Koscielny, who I still maintain looks like a human cross bred with a velociraptor.
Us: Four changes from the side that beat Stoke so convincingly, including the return of Eden and Cesc. Not sure I agreed with taking out Rudiger after he played so well, or Willian, partly because he was so good last time out and also because his omission meant that we were being cautious. I wanted 3-4-3.
I don't know what I did to deserve a beast-man bigger that Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor meshed together to form one giant person in front of me, but I will try and recount what happened.
This was the low point of last season, 3-0 left me sucking on a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. It was a "f*ck the tonic" situation. PLease at least turn up Chelsea, which we didn't for the FA Cup final. Conte has faced Whinger six times, and only won once. But. That demolishing last season came after L'Arse suffered a five match winless streak against us in the league. No team has won away at their newish stadium more than us. The last time they managed to keep two clean sheets against us in a league season? The last century. In the last NINE league games against us they have failed to score in seven. So what does all of this number crunching mean? It means I'm going to sulk like and it's going to be a repeat f*ck the tonic situation if we lose this.
Empty seats. Everywhere. And in the words of The Honest Gooner, (the only one of them I associate with, bar my adopted Trek Mummy from Jordan) it was probably due to a load of half-arsed twats who couldn't be bothered after eating and drinking themselves into oblivion over Christmas, who will later claim they were "protesting" by staying at home.
Refwatch: Can we have Mike Dean? Can we can we can we? Sadly the man who hates Arsenal had the night off. Instead we get the clown that is Anthony Taylor. Who hates us instead. I'm just going to end up moaning about him all the way through this, because his idiocy is as sure as rain at Wimbledon, misbehaviour by p*ssed English cricketers on tour and side-splitting capitulation by Sp*rs, so I won't wait until the end to mention him.
He managed to negotiate the opening five minutes, as did we, but then he began his predictable sh*tstorm of incompetence by giving them a free kick on the edge of box about thirty seconds after a Goon had lost the ball. Seemingly he has made no New Years resolution to be less embarrassing as an official.
The first real chance of the game for is came after a quarter of an hour, (I'll tell you now, all times are approximate because they run their scoreboard pretentiously backwards and I'm sh*t at maths) when poor Alvaro started as he probably didn't mean to go on by failing to put away a golden opportunity. Next time, you beautiful man, lie down and do it with your head.
Shocking collapse in the box by them just afterwards. I called dive, but The Honest Gooner informs me that "Mistakeland-Niles" is so thick he wouldn't have the capability, and that he just fell over his own leg. Still, they got what they deserved moments later when they all cheered like they'd scored. Thibaut had in fact pushed it onto one post and then grabbed it after it rolled along the goal line and hit the other. Ha.But our formation was being overrun. Morata was proving easier to mug than a blind octogenarian. Moses in particular was being swamped on the right hand side. Courtois basically kept us in it. At the other end, they shat themselves every time Hazard had the ball. Unsurprising seeing as last time they let him run with it he managed to completely violate the whole of their back end, but he just wasn't being found enough. In the first half I saw dives that would make Tom Daley weep. And yet I waited for the inevitable chants of "same old Chelsea always cheating" to come from the thirty people at the other end. Either that or some Arse indignant moaning about one of our players going down.
Taylor astounded everyone by making a decision against the home side on the half hour, when Wilshire paid the price of being a nasty little turd and got booked, but in the away end we rued how defensively we were laid out. Surely we were missing a trick, they were toss at the back and with multiple numbers of a miniature midfield assassins running at them in convinced they would have folded. Conte doesn't do early changes, but Bakayoko needed to come off in favour of Willian or maybe Pesto (f*ck off auto spell) to change this up.
My player of the half was Fabregas, who was into everything and just wanted to destroy them. Absolutely robbed Sanchez in the box and when the sh*tbag went in on him two footed as a protest he just cuddled him. Leave it to the referee. Chelsea player running rings around the opposition? He wasn't having that. After giving the most reluctant free kick I've ever seen to us, Taylor then made himself feel better by taking the wind out of Cesc's sails. His booking was so pathetic that apparently in commentary Gary Neville and Martin Tyler were advocating introducing a panel to overturn yellow cards. Absolute b*llocks. The Honest Gooner and I couldn't for the life of us figure out how it was 0-0 at half-time, but it was.
They trollied out some old bloke during the break that was so tedious that Stretch spoke for us all when he shouted "F*ck off you boring b*stard.” Then we were subjected to a kids penalty shootout. Very questionable goal-keeping from Gunnersaurus. Obviously Mignolet moonlighting in the dinosaur costume. If you needed any more evidence about them being stuck in the past, Whinger's selection of toy-boys emerged to House of Pain's Jump Around.
Three forward passes in a row straight off. Check us out! Taylor continued to adhere to his ratio if only penalising every third foul on a Chelsea player. The most consistent thing I've ever seen the twat do.
On 50 minutes I was screaming "Cech you w*nker! Whose side are you on?!" After he saved a Hazard shot instinctively and then parried the headed follow up. Pathetic dive from Wilshire on 54. I don't know what's funnier, the fact that three good games since 2007 has the Red Swarm proclaiming him as England's saviour again, or the fact that any of them believe he might be able to stay fit long enough to play in the World Cup in the first place.This has got 0-0 written all over it, said the know-all little dick behind Stretch as he pointed at the scoreboard. Yes, fool, because it is the current score.
A minute later it was Cahill, yes, Cahill, for all the nappy sh*tters out there, that got us out of danger. Willian. Now. Or we are getting nothing out of this game. Then they went and scored. Who else but that grubby little halfwit Wilshire, who would have been crying in the dressing room had Anthony Taylor had any balls. Lucky it fell to him, Courtois on his near post. Can’t really blame him though. It was amazing how 20,000 of them could make so much noise having been eerily silent thus far. Courtois saved us again moments later. Still no Willian. Or Pesto. Hazard trying to do it all in his own because Morata is having a mare. Wingbacks more likely to score that striker.
Until Eden went down in the box. The Honest Gooner was livid. I could not have given a sh*t. I'd have been more angry if Eden had stayed on his feet. Bellerin stuck his leg out in front of him and Hazard did his job. And they’d tried worse in this game. I take back everything I've said about Taylor. Actually no I don't. It's about time he did something nice for us. Cech had conceded 13 out of 13 penalties apparently, and according to THG he hadn't even got a hand on any of them. Not on this one either. 1-1.
Now it was end to end. We could have been ahead! Morata again! How can you hold it up all the way in and then miss! Cesc off for Tenacious Double D, which made me slightly happy in a pervert sense, but it still wasn't Willian. Alvaro was just trying too hard now. On 76 he had Hazard to his right but he decided to take a shot on from a narrow angle, right at Petr Cech. Urgh. We could win this if we actually committed to going forward. With Willian. (No, I was not going to let this go) He was out warming up, but in the meantime Lacazette, who was so woeful I forgot he was on the pitch half the time, was replaced by Danny Welbeck. Another member of the Spaghetti Legs Club.
FINALLY!! Willian on. But Hazard off. ARGHHHHURGH!! Someone find me gin! NOW! What does our fuzzy haired favourite do instantly? Beautiful pass to Zappacosta on the other side, our man rinses Mistakeland-Niles and crosses it in . Shocking defending, insinctive strike from Alonso. 1-2. Morata lying on top of him presumably whispering “Thank you than you thank you” in his ear. Where the fuck did that come from, they didn't even move?! Queue an excuse for R*ttenham fans to go into social media meltdown. Their obsession with him really isn't healthy.
Arsenal were doing their best to make amends. And all the while we sank deeper and deeper. F*cking hell. We all knew what was coming. The Goons apparently didn't, because they were pouring out with plenty of time left on the clock, one of them booking a fly past with a Wenger Out banner for the next game. It was like the Alamo at the other end. Four added minutes for L'Arse (and Taylor) to try and take at least a point for the home side. Ragged defending, and f*cking Bellerin sitting on the outside of the box ready to thump it in. Bellerin. Jesus wept. They surged out again to try and win it, but what's this? We've broken free! Noooo! Alvaro's got the ball. We all knew what was coming. Largely because it's what the player believes is coming at the moment. Miss. Then we had one off the crossbar! B*llocks!!!! Rage!!! Gin!!!
The four Goons that remained were singing 2-1 and you f*cked it up. Er, who was ahead in the first place, bellends? Then it was "One Team in London." Did they realise it was 2-2? And that only the crossbar had even secured them a point? At home? This is why they are the most unbearable b*stards south of Anfield.
So: What did we learn from the first game of the year? That Whinger is as mad as a box of frogs. Vowing to fight his FA charge for slagging off an official, whilst slagging off another official. Not the best game plan.
We also learned that Conte failed to get the better of him again. If we had grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck then we would have won it. We were too defensive and when this was obviously not working we stuck with it for too long. If we had somehow maintained the 2-1 lead whilst sitting deeper than the wreck of the f*cking Titanic, it would have been because we orchestrated a smash and grab, not because Antonio got the better of his opposite number. This is becoming a bit of a trend against L'Arse. Boooo.
Morata. I don't want to get on his back, because he is undoubtedly class and because he IS in the right place constantly, and not hanging about like a sack of potatoes like Lukaku does half the time having cost more money. And he is new, but I honestly have no idea, having seen him miss a dozen sitters now, how he has managed to get his wife pregnant. Christ knows where he was aiming. Of late he's got all the precision of a mole with cataracts armed with a sniper rifle in blazing sunlight. He's got better about throwing himself on the floor though, and he's nowhere near as bad at doing it as St. Didier of Munich was at the beginning, but it still makes me cringe when he does it. The 12 year old nappy sh*tter behind us who called him a useless f*cking c*** repeatedly and at one point told him to f*ck off out of our club is lucky that the useless docile, koala-like Stretch (special alias) didn't turn around and head butt him at some point last night. A point is probably fair but it is f*cking annoying when you have managed to come from behind (when a certain blogger had a 10/1 bet on this happening) and then you just invite them on to equalise.
On Saturday I produced one word for every letter of the alphabet to describe just how bad Stoke City were. Anthony Taylor does not even deserve this. He just gets this 26 times:
W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk.
Round up every every criticism I have made of him in the last year in every clusterf*ck he has created and apply it again. Because it is always the same. If you are that consistently bad at your six figure salaried job that you can make the fans of both teams simultaneously revile you and want to string you up by the b*llocks and use you as a human piñata, you don't deserve to have that job. Do referees not have some form of performance review? Are they not subjected to the same level of tedious form-filling-out about their job progress and self-improvement goals as the rest of us? If they do it goes something like this:
"Taylor, you're sh*t. You couldn't make the right decision if you had a rifle with one bullet pointed at a starving hungry cheetah bearing down on you. What are you going to do about it?"
"Excellent! As you were!"
Either that or they skip around PGMOL HQ in their too tight shorts slapping each other's a*ses, high as f*cking kites like Willy Wonka off his nut on sugar in his chocolate factory, blithely oblivious to reality and what goes on in the rest of the world, fawned over by oompah loompas and watching Nickelodeon and spliced propaganda footage that convinces them that they are the gems of the footballing world. And at the centre of it is Anthony Taylor, moisturising his stupidly shiny head with L'Oréal anti-wrinkle cream, kissing the mirror and telling himself he is worth it. He's not. Retire him.
Anyone who isn't at least a little bit excited about the FA Cup has no soul - how many changes will Conte risk against Naaaarch, as the locals call it? More importantly, Janice assures me that they have expanded the one road in and out of Britain's answer to Chernobyl to two lanes, so it may not take 13 hours to get in and out, and if Thomas Cook bother to send enough drivers this time the club coaches may even arrive in time for kick off!